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One of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.
Yoga has long been known to be a great antidote to stress and anxiety. When your muscles are tensed, your heart is racing, and your endocrine glands are pumping out stress hormones, these feelings can become a source of anxiety, creating a vicious, and potentially chronic, cycle of hypersensitivity and increasing states of alarm. Yoga can help you relax these muscles, ease into deep breathing, and send comforting message to your nervous system that your fears are manageable and your body and mind are safe.
Chronic pain is the most common reason people seek medical attention in the United States. More than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain conditions like lower back pain, arthritis, headaches, and digestive disorders. Yoga can help by increasing the blood flow, relieving compression, and reducing pain.
Yoga stretches not only your muscles but also all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. It may also increase lubrication in the joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body. No matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time.
In terms of overall physical fitness, yoga improves posture, muscle tone, circulation, pulmonary function, coordination, and flexibility. Yoga also strengthens upper and lower extremities as well as abdominal muscles. It contributes to balance, flexibility, and the release of muscle tension. Yoga has been scientifically proven to benefit kids in physical fitness, cardiorespiratory effects, motor skills/strength, mental health and psychological disorders. Kids Yoga is a great complement to other sports, which may overuse certain muscle groups or not provide adequate stretching prior to doing the sport. It is also a great fit for kids who may not be that active or athletic, but will find success in yoga.
As a stress management technique yoga promotes relaxation, reduces anxiety, and improves sleep patterns. Scientifically, the mental benefits of kids yoga results from calming the heart rate, which signals the brain to activate the parasympathetic nervous system response. It also helps in circulation, glandular balance, digestion, and immunity. Yoga also decreases “fight or flight” physiological reactions to stress such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure. When physical postures and relaxation methods are integrated with breath, it creates experiences to develop a healthy and balanced life. This enables improvement in academic performance, self-esteem, classroom behaviors, concentration, and emotional balance.
Yoga fosters self-acceptance and actualization. It helps develop self-compassion and compassion for others. It improves self-confidence, social confidence with teachers, communication with peers, contributions in the classroom. Partner yoga poses allow children to understand the concept of teamwork by working together. Yoga inspires kids to be kind, patient, accepting, and emphatic with themselves and their peers. When children realize that Yoga is a committed life long practice and a discipline versus an immediate accomplishment, they learn and accept that life is a path with good days, bad days, and everything in between.