Seven Keys to Good Health and a Meaningful Life

Seven Keys to Good Health and a Meaningful Life

Yoga increases blood flow and levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. It also thins the blood, decreasing the chance of heart attacks and strokes from blood clots.

A regular practise of yoga builds strength without overworking the muscles. Stronger muscles protect the back, reduce pain in joints and other parts of the body, and improve posture.

Increased Flexibility

The poses used in yoga require a balance of strength and flexibility. This combination of movement and stretching improves posture, joint mobility, and balance.

Yoga helps strengthen the body’s core and back muscles, reducing stress on joints and helping people with chronic pain feel better. It also helps reduce fatigue. The practise of controlled breathing in yoga stimulates the vagus nerve, a branch that takes information from your body to relay to your brain, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system—the one that promotes relaxation.

As you move and stretch, you’re squeezing and soaking areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used, which can help prevent degenerative arthritis and mitigate disability by keeping these joints lubricated. Yoga can also improve spinal disc health because the shock absorbers that sit between your vertebrae crave movement to soak up fresh nutrients.

Boosted Energy

Yoga can boost your energy levels by improving your circulation and oxygen flow. This also helps reduce the buildup of lactic acid and waste products in your muscles, which can cause fatigue.

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Meditation and self-reflection in yoga can teach you to let go of what hurts, what doesn’t work, who you loved or hated yesterday, and what will or won’t happen tomorrow. This can increase happiness and lower stress, which is known to contribute to chronic health issues like lupus, fibromyalgia, heart disease, high blood pressure, and eczema.

Strengthened Core

A strong core is the foundation for all your body movements. It improves posture and balance and reduces back pain. It also supports and protects your joints and spine from injury. Having good balance and stability is important for daily activities like walking down the stairs or moving on slippery or icy surfaces.

The core exercises in yoga help to strengthen the abdomen and back muscles, which are critical for your body’s movement and posture. It’s important to find a class that suits your experience level and body needs.

Taking up yoga can help improve your mood and enhance your mental health, especially if you do it consistently. The practise of yoga teaches you to be more mindful and connect with your body. This can make you happier, which in turn may boost your immune system and reduce anxiety.

Better Sleep

Insomnia affects over 55% of people, but a regular yoga practise can help you achieve restful slumber. Not only is better sleep important for achieving optimal mental health, but it is also crucial to reducing pain, improving balance, and restoring healthy body tissues.

Deep breathing used in yoga can calm the mind and lower your heart rate, which can help with insomnia, snoring, and sleep apnea. Additionally, some postures like seated forward fold, legs-up-the-wall, and savasana can alleviate the body aches that can cause trouble sleeping. In addition, research suggests that a regular yoga practise may boost GABA levels in the brain, which can decrease mood swings and promote overall emotional well-being.

Reduced Anxiety

Taking steps to reduce your anxiety can have big benefits for your well-being. Anxiety can contribute to chronic stress, which is linked to health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Consistently practising yoga can help you feel more relaxed, even when life is stressful. It helps to calm the mind and improve focus, so you can zero in on the things that matter most to you.

Yoga poses train the body’s sense of contact with the ground, known as proprioception; vision; and inner ear, or vestibular system, to improve balance. This helps prevent falls and accidents, which is especially important for older adults. Plus, it can increase your confidence in your ability to maintain balance while walking, turning, or running.

Increased Self-Awareness

Overstimulation taxes the nervous system and creates internal “friction.” Yoga encourages a shift from the sympathetic, or fight-or-flight, response to the parasympathetic, or relaxation, response. Through calming meditation, restorative poses, and breathing exercises, yogis can learn to relax their bodies and minds.

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Being self-aware can also contribute to better mental health, developing relationships, and leading a happier life. For example, when a person receives negative feedback at work, they can recognise the triggers that may be contributing to the bad mood and then take steps to improve their behaviour.

Enhanced Mental Health

Unlike running or lifting weights, yoga has the unique ability to integrate mind and body. That’s why many therapists are now encouraging clients to practise yoga as a complementary therapy, particularly for those suffering from depression and PTSD.

Studies have shown that yoga improves concentration abilities by calming the brain and focusing attention. This is due to the breathwork and meditation techniques used in yoga.

Yoga also strengthens parts of the brain that play a role in memory, awareness, thought, and language. Think of it as weightlifting for the brain! Strong mental health can lead to a happier and healthier life. Yoga can help you deal with stress, boost your confidence, and improve your relationship and sexual satisfaction. It can even make you more productive at work.

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