Up to one half a million people practice yoga in Britain.
We all know that yoga’s deep breathing and guided poses can develop your mind, body, and soul.
Yet is it a workout that will really change you? What are the effects of yoga before and after you start? Will your body look or feel any different?
Here’s what we discovered.
1. You Will Lose Weight
Yoga is a calorie-burning exercise. Power yoga, in particular, is a vigorous workout that involves your whole body. It incorporates the athleticism of Ashtanga, including lots of Vinyasas.
Power yoga enhances flexibility, stamina, and posture. Because it is rigorous, it burns more calories than traditional forms of yoga and helps with weight loss.
Bikram is also popular with those who want to feel the burn. The classes take place in rooms that are heated to 105 degrees and 40% humidity. This means you will be sweating and losing water weight throughout the sessions.
Generally, you will go through twenty-six poses at least twice during a Bikram yoga session. It is possible to drop a few pounds quickly with some regular practice.
These classes should be avoided, however, if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or are out of shape. Beginners may want to aim for a gentler session to ease them into a program. This may mean you will start with Vinyasa or Hatha yoga before trying something more intense.
Yoga can fuel your metabolic system, which will result in more fat burning and increased weight loss. It will also promote your internal balance, making it easier for you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Yoga can encourage a healthy lifestyle, inspiring you to eat better. You can see faster and longer-lasting weight-loss results. Yoga can bring you better in tune with your body, improving your self-image and sense of well-being.
Yoga can also positively influence your body’s cortisol levels, helping to regulate blood glucose levels and reduce stress. This can serve to reduce your appetite and prevent emotional eating. Yoga can also help your body to stay active, curbing some of your cravings.
2. A Calmer Mind
Most types of exercise can aid in stress reduction through the release of endorphins which are natural chemicals that help you feel better.
Yoga also relieves stress through stretching, which releases tension from problem areas including hips and shoulders.
Yoga increases your awareness of breath as a tool for relaxing your body. It offers several techniques for bringing you into the present moment as you focus on inhales and exhales.
The poses in yoga are physical. Yet they need to be performed with such concentration that all other thoughts and worries need to be put to the side. Your brain gets a little vacation from your concerns of the day.
Yoga can lower your heart rate and keep your body calm. It can lower your rates of the stress hormone cortisol and help prevent stress-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Hatha yoga is an excellent choice for stress relief. It focuses on balancing your body’s energy and deepening your body-mind connection. You will stretch tight muscles through poses, deep breathing, and meditation.
Restorative yoga is another great option for those with anxiety. It focuses on holding a few simple poses for longer periods of time. Restorative yoga is designed to help your body sink into deep relaxation.
3. Improved Flexibility
The muscle memory created by regular yoga practice teaches your body that you have been in certain positions before and can go deeper into them. Yoga moves your body through every range of motion. Although it may sometimes be uncomfortable to remain in a pose, stretching your muscles and joints allows you to move even further into your own space of possible movements.
Yin yoga is excellent for flexibility. It takes a more passive approach, allowing your body to release into poses and postures instead of powering through them.
Restful Yin poses often use bolsters and props, targeting a healthy opening of your connective tissue system. If your local studio or gym doesn’t offer Yin yoga try looking for a course online.
Vinyasa flow is another popular type of yoga for getting you flexing. The poses encourage the strengthening and stretching of poses through alignment and repeated use.
4. Better Sleep
Those who struggle with anxiety often suffer from insomnia. Yoga helps to increase blood flow to your brain’s sleep center and decrease activity in your nervous system. The poses can relax your nervous system and teach you to unwind from the day’s tension.
Yoga can help people come out of their “fight or flight” states and come back to homeostasis. Activating your parasympathetic nervous system can help you to fall and stay asleep.
5. Getting Stronger
Yoga can give you a tighter core, solid arms, and sculpted legs. You can build and tone muscles throughout your body and your mind will get stronger too.
Poses like planks can strengthen your core, arms, and legs. Dolphin push-ups can build strength with only a few repetitions.
Ashtanga yoga is great for those looking to build up strength. The heavily-repeated series of vinyasas can make you look strong and fierce. Holding the poses in between can develop targeted muscles within your body.
6. Better Concentration
Doing yoga for even a few minutes a day can help you improve your focus and remember things.
Yoga poses help you concentrate on your breathing, calming your body and mind. This can provide mental stability that will help you collect more information and remember it.
Yoga focuses on the body and mind so you can think more clearly. When we think about positive, non-attached thoughts, we can break free from everyday worries and concentrate on important tasks.
Inversion poses are great for concentration because they provide a rich flow of blood to the brain. It also aids in tissue regeneration.
Simple balance poses like Mountain Pose and Tree Pose can also train us to concentrate. Seated poses force us to concentrate on keeping the body balanced for a long period of time. They have a relaxing effect on our nervous system.
7. Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation resulting from being exposed to an irritant is a normal immune response. Chronic inflammation, however, can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In the short term, chronic inflammation can make your daily routine seem more taxing. You might feel stiff and sore, or become more vulnerable to injury.
Yoga can help reduce inflammation by increasing levels of Adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory hormone.
Child’s pose is a great way to decrease anxiety. It also reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Triangle pose can also decrease stress and increase your flexibility.
8. Decreased Depression
Yoga can decrease the levels of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that influences your body’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often associated with depression.
Yoga can decrease your levels of cortisol and increase levels of serotonin. Yoga also increases your heart rate viability through a relaxation response. This will prepare your body to better respond and adapt to stress.
Ananda yoga is great for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. It focuses on meditation and directing energy to different parts of your body.
Lyengar yoga is also a good choice for depression sufferers and beginners. It focuses on a few basic poses and eliminates tension in your body, mind, and spirit.
9. A Healthier Heart
Practicing yoga can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. It can also lower your cholesterol.
One of the main heart benefits of yoga is that it decreases stress, which is one of the major contributing factors to heart disease.
Emotional stress can cause a number of physical effects, including the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These narrow your arteries and increase your blood pressure.
The deep breathing and mental focus of yoga can decrease your stress. Yoga can also lower your blood glucose levels, making it healthy for lifestyle intervention.
Easy poses, mountain poses, and bridge poses are all super for heart health. They keep you comfortable while you breathe deeply and reduce your stress levels.
Yoga Before And After
You will notice the effects of yoga before and after you begin your practice. Reduced stress levels, improved concentration, and greater strength and flexibility will all be noticeable changes. The right yoga program for you will improve your body, mind, and soul at the same time.
For more great yoga information, read our blog today.