Although yoga has been practiced for hundreds of years, it is only over the last few decades that it has started to have any kind of relevance in the Western world. That said, now that it is here, it is truly taking off. The reason is that what was once considered to be a weird behavior of trying to tie yourself into pretzel-like knots has actually shown itself to be a gentle, relaxing practice that eases the body and mind and that provides a broad spectrum of very impressive benefits.
Although the number of advantages associated with practicing yoga on a regular basis would likely be too large to discuss in a single article, there are a few that often rise above the rest as appealing reasons to keep doing it over time.
The following are some of the top benefits to practicing yoga on a regular basis:
• A reduction in migraines – research and participants, alike, agree that practicing yoga regularly can help to reduce the number and severity of these very painful experiences. This is particularly true when the exercises involve stretching poses of the neck, shoulder, and back.
• A reduction in back pain – a study in the Spine peer reviewed journal showed that people who practice yoga twice per week not only improves flexibility, but it also helps to reduce the experience of lower back pain.
• Improved libido – some of the poses such as the "cobra" and the "triangle", which are focused on the muscles of the abs and the pelvis, have shown to improve the libido and provide a better experience in bed. In fact, this was shown in a study that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
• Better sleep quality – many of the more relaxing poses, such as the "standing forward bend", particularly when paired with meditation, can help you to fall asleep more quickly and to obtain a better quality of sleep. This is particularly noticeable among people who are already experiencing sleep struggles such as insomnia.
If you are considering practicing yoga for the first time, it is a very good idea to speak to your doctor, first, to make sure that it is safe and appropriate for you in your current fitness level. It is also recommended that you learn your poses from a qualified and experienced instructor, so that you can be certain that you are doing them properly and avoiding the risk of injury.