Yoga practice integrates the mind and body by fusing both into a harmonious whole. Regardless of a person’s level of yoga expertise, anyone can reap a myriad of health benefits from regular yoga practice. This article will discuss the seven ways in which regular yoga practice can improve a person’s lifespan, including improved digestion, reduced stress, and a healthier heart.
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Regular yoga practice can help enhance the mobility of the digestive system and improve gut health. Certain yoga poses use a combination of deep breathing and stretches targeted at certain areas of the body, to improve the efficiency with which food and waste products are transported through the bowels.
A healthy and efficient digestive system reduces the risk of digestive tract diseases and colon cancer. For an improved digestive system, consider integrating yoga poses, such as ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’ (downward-facing dog) and ‘Trikonasana’ (triangle pose) into your yoga practice.
Lowers Blood Sugar Level
As a result of yoga, blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is lowered, while HDL (“good”) cholesterol is boosted. Poses in yoga help to exercise the body’s muscles, which in turn, helps to increase glucose uptake by muscular cells. As a result, this lowers the body’s blood sugar level and improves circulation and reduces cardiovascular disease risks.
If you lower your blood sugar levels, you reduce your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attacks, kidney failure, and blindness.
Reduces Stress Levels
Yoga and in particular, Laughter Yoga, is beneficial for stress management, mental health and mindfulness. Stress and anxiety are rampant in modern life. However, Yoga practice encourages inward reflection and the removal of stimuli which helps to allow your nervous system to rest and better sleep.
Overall, this can result in you feeling less tired, stressed, and less at risk of having accidents. For reduced levels of stress, consider integrating ‘Savasana’ (Corpse Pose) into your yoga routines.
Greater Mind-Body Awareness
Yoga without mindful awareness isn’t really yoga all. It is often said that yoga has the ability to inspire and enhance self-care and healthy living more than any other activity. Yoga and mindfulness both aim to quiet the mind, cultivating a deeper connection to and understanding of oneself.
Yoga practitioners tend to take an active role in their own health, discovering that they can create positive changes in their lives and adopt healthier habits as a result. The adoption of healthier habits greatly contributes greatly to a longer life expectancy.
Practising yoga regularly increases your proprioception (the ability to sense where your body is in space) and improves your body’s balance. Strong muscles contribute to improving balance and mobility by stabilizing the body’s joints.
In addition to physical stability, mental and emotional stability is also practised through yoga balance poses. The ability to remain steady and centred in a balancing pose improves focus and reduces stress. In order to stay upright, you have to remain alert and concentrated while not falling over while you are wobbling.
In terms of prolonging life, the improved balance and stability of the mind could result in fewer falls and accidents. As a result, the elderly are more independent and may enter a nursing home later or never.
Improves Heart Health
Regular yoga practice can reduce stress levels and reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is beneficial for the heart. Yoga can also be beneficial in treating a number of factors contributing to the cause of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure and excessive weight.
Improved Strength & Flexibility
As you practice yoga, your joints go through all their ranges of motion and your breath increases blood flow and warms your muscles. As you hold those poses, you help to increase the strengths of those muscles.
By strengthening and increasing the flexibility of muscles, we can help reduce the risk of injury or mitigate the damage of an injury. Additionally, yoga practise also helps prevent or mitigate the severity of disabilities, such as degenerative arthritis.
Additionally, your resting metabolic heart rate can be improved with regular yoga strength training practice over an extended period of time.
If you’re looking to improve the quality and longevity of your life, then yoga may be the perfect choice for you. Join UnitedMind’s Laughing Yoga training, workshop, and courses to experience the benefits of this practice first-hand.
About the Author
Abigail Cooper is a content writer for UnitedMind, the UK’s leading provider of Laughter Yoga training sessions, workshops and courses.