Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient meditative practice that is growing considerably in popularity as people in the Western world discover its potential benefits. Originating in India, it has long been known to improve health and well-being when carried out on a regular basis. It combines meditation with a series of exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
The benefits that yoga can offer include:
1. Stress relief. With the fast pace of modern life, this is becoming increasingly important. Stress is known to contribute to a wide range of lifestyle diseases, including high blood pressure (or hypertension), coronary heart disease and stroke. Being able to effectively reduce stress will mean that you are less likely to suffer from these and other conditions.
2. Improved balance and fall prevention. This is particularly useful in older adults who may be suffering from a loss of balance. It strengthens the muscles and stabilises the joints, especially the knees and ankles. It can also reduce pain in the joints.
3. Reduced symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative disorder that leads to painful joints and often reduces the range of motion. Yoga is a very gentle form of exercise that is suitable for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. It improves flexibility and encourages greater movement throughout the body, which can help to reduce the symptoms of pain and stiffness.
4. Maintaining fitness throughout pregnancy. It is now encouraged for expectant mothers to remain active throughout the duration of the pregnancy, although high impact activities are not recommended. Yoga classes can now be tailored specifically to pregnant women, avoiding poses that will place too much pressure on the abdomen and the unborn child.
For anyone looking to improve health and fitness, yoga is an excellent choice.
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