It is no secret that yoga is great for you – both in body and mind. However, there are numerous great benefits of adopting a regular yoga practice that they don’t tell you. In addition to strengthening your body and helping with flexibility, yoga can work to benefit your internal organs, help with anxiety, and so much more. Even though yoga has been around for thousands of years, the practice has gained popularity (especially among westerners) over the last decade. Today there are many different styles of yoga – allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs and even mood. From fast-paced vinyasa classes to yin yoga classes that are more about deep stretching and getting into the fascia level of tissue, the world of yoga is vast.
If you are new to yoga, there is no reason to be intimidated. The majority of gyms that offer yoga classes (such as Fitness Nation!) cater to a wide group of people, which means you will likely have other beginners and seasoned veterans in your class at the same time. This is one of the best parts about yoga – you don’t have to know exactly what you are doing and be able to get into the ‘peak posture’ on your first try. It’s all about listening to your body and understanding where you are at in the moment. Teachers are there to guide you and ensure you are not injuring yourself, but instead getting the most out of every posture. So, just what are some of the lesser known benefits of yoga? They include:
- Yoga is great for your organs. Many people don’t think about this aspect of yoga, but one of the top benefits of the practice is that it can benefit your internal organs. Yoga gets your blood pumping and encourages mindful, deep breathing, which is excellent for your heart and lungs. Many poses also help the digestive tract, working towards a healthier system overall. Finally, certain yoga poses can ‘massage’ the internal organs (especially twists and deep stretches performed in yin classes).
- Yoga is great for your brain. If you practice yoga in any capacity, chances are you know just how good it is for your brain. Yoga requires a great deal of mental focus, training your brain to become more mindful and calm. This is a great skill to have both in your personal and professional life. The more yoga you do, the more your brain will be stimulated and strengthened.
- Yoga encourages creativity. Not only does yoga encourage mental focus and clarity, but it can also help you tap into your creative side. Many people credit the head-clearing practice of yoga with helping them open up space in their brain – and life – for more creative ventures.
- Yoga helps with stress and type A tendencies. If you are a ‘type A’ person who always has to be in charge and control, yoga may be just what you need. The calming, nurturing nature of yoga is wonderful for relieving stress and letting bygones be bygones. This practice can help you let go of certain things and become a better person, overall.