When COVID-19 was confirmed a pandemic in 2020, it was not only the virus and fear of getting it that became rampant. Suddenly, everyone was fully aware of how important it is to be well and healthy. People finally started washing their hands religiously. Vitamins and supplements were almost always sold out. And although gyms were temporarily closed, more people felt the need to be more active and include exercise in their quarantine schedule. Aside from that, mental health has never been more challenged, and moving our bodies somewhat keeps us sane.
One of the exercises that found its way to popularity—and necessity—as a home fitness regime when the pandemic started is yoga. Before, yoga enthusiasts would usually attend intimate classes in studios where a hands-on instructor guides them. But that is not a safe option now. Thankfully, we can easily enroll in online yoga classes or download yoga apps through our smartphones.
You can find thousands of video tutorials on the internet—for free—which leaves us no room for excuses not to try it! Besides, yoga emphasizes breathing and mental calmness—two things that we need to protect during these difficult times. That point alone is enough to give it a try.
If you need more specific explanations on what makes yoga something you should finally consider doing, say no more!
Here are the reasons that will make you try yoga faster than you can say “namaste:”
1. GETS YOUR BLOOD FLOWING
Proper blood circulation should be a top priority in keeping ourselves well and healthy. Since blood is present and vital in every organ system, it basically affects each system’s performance, too. Good blood flow means good distribution of oxygen and nutrients to our cells. Nowadays, many of us are studying or working from home. That means we spend a majority of our time sitting in front of the computer (and TV on our off days) which can lead to poor blood circulation. Fortunately, several yoga poses can get your blood flowing. And because many diseases are related to poor blood circulation such as diabetes and heart problems, more doctors are now prescribing yoga therapy as part of their patients’ integrative medication program.
2. PERFECTS YOUR POSTURE
What makes a good posture? It’s not just about standing straight or not slouching. It is about how our body alignment makes our movements more efficient and keeps us from those unnecessary headaches, muscle pain, and joint problems. When your posture is good, there are fewer tendencies that your body is wasting energy. Consequently, the more energy you have, the brighter your mood becomes!
Yoga has a way of making you more aware of your body. The different kinds of stretching and posing help you become more conscious about your body alignment and balance while breathing right. Practice this more often, and you will soon enough perfect your body posture.
3. BENEFITS YOUR BREATHING
Once you give yoga a try, you will notice that it will make you pay attention to your breathing while sitting, or sometimes while simply lying flat on your mat. A key component of yoga called pranayama is a practice of controlling your breath using different techniques such as alternate nose breathing, humming breath, etc. It doesn’t only improve your focus and mindfulness, it also expands and strengthens your lungs.
As years go by, we get older and our lungs also get weaker. Through regular yoga, you can prevent an early decline in your lung capacity. Of course, good breathing gives us a good life. And is not to be taken for granted.
4. GIVES YOU A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Studies have shown that a large percentage of people who practice yoga regularly claim that they have reduced stress and better sleep quality. Research has also shown that yoga helps relieve insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Unlike most intense types of workouts, yoga comprises gentle stretches and slow movements which contribute to making you feel relaxed. The availability of online tutorials allows us to do yoga right before bedtime and is like getting that much-needed massage after a long, tiring day.
Guided meditation, another key component of yoga, makes you dive into positive affirmations. They will encourage you, clear your mind, and guide you to pursuing inner peace and healing. Yoga designed for Christians is also becoming a trend wherein you meditate on Bible verses. Add these guided meditation techniques to your relaxing stretches and you will surely sleep like a baby.
5. HELPS YOU FEEL HAPPIER
Have you ever heard of happy hormones? Hormones are chemicals naturally produced by your body. Some of these hormones are somehow designed to lighten up your mood and make you happy. Generally, exercising can cause your body to release happy hormones. And if you’re not a fan of pressuring and extreme workouts, but would love a daily dose of endorphins and serotonin, then definitely try yoga!
With 84 asanas (yoga poses) to choose from, having accomplished some of these can already bring an inexplicable sense of fulfillment. Not only that, the more you gain flexibility, the stronger you feel, and the healthier you become, the higher your self-esteem gets.
To wrap this up, we are generally still experiencing a difficult time that threatens not only our physical health but our mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being, too. Yoga aims to address all these and luckily, it is not something only the pros can achieve. Yoga is a gentle body exercise that almost anyone can do regardless of age, weight, and gender. And while we’re in the middle of a chaotic and uncontrollable situation, there is still one thing that we do have control over—and that is our body.