Despite the fact that yoga originated in India and has for eons been an integrated part of the culture, in western countries yoga is often viewed as a trendy form of exercise. In fact, yoga is so much more than just a fun form of fitness.
First thing first: why has this ancient mental, physical, and psycho-spiritual practice stood the test of time so well, continuing even now to weave its influence across the globe?
Well, for the purposes of reduction, let’s just say that yoga delivers. The proven and potential benefits of this practice could probably fill pages, but maybe we can narrow it down here into three of the main reasons for making yoga a part of your weekly routine.
- Improved Breathing
One of the primary beliefs of ancient yogins was that prana, the universal life force inherent in the air that we breathe, was responsible for the renewal of the cells comprising the physical body. They held fast to the idea that disease was unlikely in a body highly charged with the pranic energy that comes from intentionally focused breathing practices like those inherent in yoga.
This idea is not so far removed from the scientific findings supporting the fact that oxygenated blood is healthy blood. It is also known that many people in the fast-paced modern world give little attention to the way they breathe, often developing habitually faulty and shallow breathing habits that can be a common underlying factor in poor health.
Yoga is a perfect natural remedy for a seemingly endless list of disorders. This can be anything from poor posture, backache, and sciatica, to constipation, menstrual cramps, indigestion, headaches and insomnia. Not to mention sarcopenia, nervous tension, and varicose veins. Need we say more?
As you integrate yoga into your weekly routine, consider indulging in a few extra yoga gifts to add an alternative therapeutic aspect, along with further inspiration toward making yoga a lasting part of your life — maybe by way of a chakra bracelet or a comfortable yoga mat for a sense of setting.
- Increased Physical and Mental Vitality
Yoga postures and movements have been proven time and again to facilitate increased mobility and flexibility, often leading to an all-around sensation of lissomness and suppleness that can have significant mental carry-over.
This is reported not only as a more developed sense of poise and an improved ability to concentrate, but the physical practice of yoga also commonly manifests as increased sexual vigor, especially in those participants who may have been previously lacking in this area for any reason.
Anyone indulging in the more meditative aspects of yoga will likely find a heightened sense of mindfulness to be another useful byproduct. The postures were, in fact, traditionally designed to prepare the restless mind, through the taming of the body, for a deeper and more insightful session of meditation. Meditation has itself proven to be something of a therapeutic avenue for many western practitioners in recent decades.