Yoga has been picking up momentum in popularity every single year. Since 2008, the number of Americans that practice yoga has doubled from 15 million to 36 million, according to Alliance and Yoga Journal.
Yoga creates a chain reaction of health enhancements. Once health is improved in one area, it may promote health in other areas. Since the mind and body act as one system, something as simple as a daily yoga exercise could change the way you look, feel, and perform for the rest of your life.
Here’s why men need to be practicing yoga on a regular basis…
The Physical Benefits Of Yoga
- Strength and Flexibility- Yoga requires you to support your own body weight through slow and controlled movements; This will improve muscular strength over time.
- Cardiovascular (Heart) Health- Yoga helps to relax the blood vessels, which lowers your resting heart rate and blood pressure. The result from this is an improved cardiovascular performance.
- Higher Energy- Studies show that certain yoga poses will raise the cortisol levels in the brain. Cortisol is the hormone primarily responsible for your “fight or flight” instincts. Keeping this hormone at healthy levels will help you stay energized throughout the day.
- Weight Reduction- Yoga is a physical activity that can be quite intense depending on the style of yoga that you’re practicing. Therefore, yoga burns calories just like any other intense physical activity would.
- Ease Arthritis Symptoms- Yoga increases the flexibility of the joints which releases pressure from the joints, easing arthritis symptoms.
- Lowers Blood Pressure- Many forms of yoga have been shown to ease the sympathetic nervous system which slows down the heart. Slowing the heart rate may lower blood pressure depending on the presence of any other contributing factors.
- Boosts Immunity- Yoga reduces stress in the body, which in turn, cuts down inflammation and degeneration. Over time, this will strengthen the performance of your immune system.
The Mental Benefits Of Yoga
- Reduces Stress- Yoga is all about self control; When you practice controlled thinking, controlled breathing, and controlled posture, your mind will be more equipped to take on the burden of stressful thoughts.
- Relieves Anxiety- You’ve heard of the phrase “Mind over Body”, but the same principle applies if the phrase is reversed. If the body is relaxed, blood pressure is lowered, and circulation is restored to normal levels, anxiety will likely be reduced significantly in the mind. This is because the mind and body act as one system, and not two separate systems.
- Fights Depression- Yoga is a form of exercise that increases flexibility, and circulation, which increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is responsible for your mental state of well-being and happiness. Having higher levels of this hormone works well to fight depression.
- Improves Quality Of Sleep- Practicing yoga improves mindfulness, which in-turn increases melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that is responsible for putting you to sleep.
- Promotes Positive Thinking- Because yoga improves mindfulness, relieves stress and anxiety, and so much more, it’s no surprise that many people have discovered that they take on a more positive mindset after practicing yoga on a consistent basis.