Yoga Benefits: What Will the Practice of Yoga Do for You?

Yoga offers many benefits joining the body, mind, and spirit. Although considered an Eastern Practice, Western research of the practice of yoga shows many cause and effect benefits of yoga. Improved strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, endurance, and decreased back and joint pain highlight the body benefits of yoga. Yoga practice effects on the mind include improved concentration and focus, energy, decreased anxiety, decreased stress, disease prevention and improved markers of disease and disease risk. Many would think of these as body benefits, however yoga breath and meditation impact on the mind and nervous system are the cause for these effects! Yoga also benefits the spiritual self as the intention of yoga is to bring gratitude and appreciation for life, for the body, the earth around us and to bring a connection to the creator. Yoga brings a connection to your faith, and your faith brings about your interpretation of the connection. Yoga has it’s thousands of years roots in the Buddhist religion, however despite some peoples’ belief, religion is not taught or preached in yoga classes. Common traits of religious faith include the belief in a higher power or creator, being a kind and good person, treating self and others with respect and dignity, and that we are created equal. This blog is not about the practice of religions, but rather to highlight the sameness. Yoga guides you to live by your faith and values. These spirit benefits contribute greatly to the mind and body benefits. The spirit is the component of well-being most often missed which leads to the struggles of the rest of self care.

Practicing yoga is to honor and appreciate the beauty and wonder of our bodies and our surroundings.  In my years working in some aspect of wellness, the piece of the well being puzzle that I see missing for so many is the spirituality piece and yoga helps you reconnect to your spiritual self. Remember that yoga, or any other one fitness or wellness practice will not bring total well-being, but yoga does fill many aspects of well-being.

The practice of yoga has been well studied and is an ongoing topic of research. The benefits are amazing, when you practice and embrace a healthy lifestyle as well. The following are a few of the well documented benefits for yoga, from Western research.

Health Benefits of Yoga Breath and Meditation:

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  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mobility
  • Improved breathing
  • Increased concentration & focus
  • Reduced stress
  • Decreases anxiety & depression
  • Improved self-confidence and body image
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced insulin resistance
  • Improved glycemic control
  • Improved Osteoarthritis
  • Improved Asthma
  • Effective strategy to promote healthy lifestyles in post menopausal women
  • Minimize aging induce oxidative stress-related disease
  • Overall, improved physical, mental, intellectual, & spiritual well-being.

Yoga Intention

Often in yoga classes there is an intention for the class. This is often a personal intention such as healing self or a loved one or for a cause you believe in. I’d like to offer an intention for this blog, of awareness. I had the opportunity to present my business to a small group of the North Fulton County Chamber of Commerce. Thankfully I presented first. Evaz Fanaian, president of ScanQ, presented second and instead of presenting his business in depth he choose to allow the group to know him and his background better. This is a very condensed version, but with a request for prayer for Evaz nephew and others like him around the world. Evaz and his family practice the Baha religion and are Iranian. Like many countries, the minority cultures and religions are targeted with prejudice and hate. Approximately 23 years ago Evaz was already living in the United States and Evaz’s older two brothers and their wives, still living in Iran were arrested, put in jail and tortured solely because of their faith. Their 75 year old mother left to raise the young children of these families. They survived. Now, the youngest is 23 and was using the internet to educate himself, was arrested and is now in prison. The intent of Evaz in sharing was to bring awareness to the plight of his family and the many people around the world in similar environments.

How does the practice of yoga benefit your body, mind, and spirit?