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5 Benefits of Yoga

Even if you don’t practise it, everyone has heard of Yoga and it seems now the practice has come so far from originally being associated with free-spirited hippies and taken the Western world by storm by becoming a globally recognised wellness exercise. The benefits of Yoga are endless for both your physical and mental health and even if time is short, squeezing in 15 minutes on your mat each day, will really start to make you feel and think differently over time. Here at the Urban Veda HQ, Yoga has become a staple start to our day and each morning, we start our day with a half an hour practice. Yoga and Ayurveda are sister subjects. Whilst Ayurveda is the medical knowledge of science, Yoga is the practice of this science in your everyday life to achieve balance physically and mentally. Here are 5 reasons why you should be embracing your inner yogi!

Improves posture and increases flexibility

Improved posture is a common attribute to practising yoga regularly. This is due to a strengthened core which supports our spine more, therefore lengthening the body from the crown of the head to our feet. Often poses are positioned with the crown of the head lifting towards the sky, elongating the body. Pose for improving posture: Cobra Cobra Yoga Pose

Builds muscle

Yoga sequences involve using every muscle, tissue and tendon of the body. It involves using your own body weight to elegantly and gently move fluidly from one pose to the next. This means your muscles are being used constantly throughout a practice which gradually builds muscle and tones the entire body over time. Pose for building muscle: Chair pose Yoga Chair Pose

Reduces Stress

Breathing exercises are often a useful tool in order to reduce stress levels. Tapping into that inner zen and tranquillity immediately releases any physical and mental tensions that stress brings to the body. Yoga is comprised of deep and controlled breathing with poses that are often held for the length of one long inhale or exhale. From the moment a practise starts, the mind focuses on that practice. This removes stress from the forefront of the mind, and encourages you to let go of them. Pose for reducing stress: Child’s pose Yoga Child's Pose

Increased happiness – better image of yourself and self-perception

Our bodies are incredibly unique and complex, and yoga celebrates this through the physical poses we can reach. And the positive effect on our minds and emotions. Yoga promotes respect for oneself and encourages us to tune into our bodies needs and act accordingly. Rather than pushing ourselves too hard. You’ll often hear an instructor saying ‘do what feels good for you, there is no right or wrong.’ Pose for positivity: Warrior II Warrior II Yoga Pose

Boosts immune system – heart health

Yoga plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune system and boosting heart health. Practising yoga not only lowers the stress hormone which can compromise the immune system. But, it also stimulates the lymphatic system to expel toxins and pump oxygenated blood around the body instead. In turn, this oxygenated blood helps to keep organs functioning properly. So, by practising yoga regularly, the chances of keeping coughs and colds away and sustaining good health all year round are much higher. Pose for a promoting heart health: Mountain Pose Mountain Yoga Pose