Yoga began in Ancient India but is now a worldwide practice. Some do yoga as a relaxing but intense form of exercise. Some do yoga for spiritual experiences and development. Or somewhere in between. Yoga has a long history and can be a complex system. Modern yoga focuses on elevating your long-term health, physically and mentally. You have probably heard the phrase “mind, body, and soul”. This embodies the goals and focus on modern yoga.
The great thing about yoga—it’s for everyone! It is for the person looking to become more active and it is for the athlete. It is for the pre-teen and the senior citizen. Around 16 million people in the United States practice yoga. And that number is only growing. Exercise in general is good for your overall health. It provides physical strengthening and mental/emotional relief and release. If you are looking for a new way to exercise and relax, you will want to give yoga a try.
Our minds are bombarded. Constantly—articles, images, news, information. We are liking, sharing, friending, following/unfollowing, polling, campaigning, reading, and watching. With so much to absorb and filter through, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and frazzled. It is important to take time to focus on your mental wellbeing. Yoga is an incredibly effective stress management tool. Stress can take many forms. Though it starts in your thoughts, your stress can cause physical side effects, including headaches, shoulder and neck pain, muscle tension, and poor sleep.
Meditation and breathing. These are two common aspects of yoga. Breathing techniques and meditation inspires calmness and clarity. It helps clear the clutter from your mind. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to relieve stress. As you breathe, you send a signal to your brain that you are ready to relax. The best kind of deep breathing is also called belly or diaphragm breathing. There is actually a specific type of yoga breathing. The belief behind yoga breathing, known as Pranayama, is that when your energy if off balance, your wellbeing suffers. By using specific breathing techniques and balancing your energy, you will see physical and mental benefits and relief.
Focus. Did you know that yoga can help improve your cognitive performance? Even more so than other forms of exercise. Researchers believe this is because while doing yoga, you are focused on your posture and your breathing. These exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety which improves your focus.
As many benefits as yoga does for your mind, it probably has even more for your body! Yoga works various muscle groups and encourages your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Here are some of the specific benefits.
According to osteopathic.org, benefits of yoga include:
- Muscle strength and tone
- Increased flexibility
- Weight reduction
- Improved energy and respiration
- Balanced metabolism
- Injury protection
- Improved athletic performance
- Cardiovascular health
- Reduced chronic pain
Yoga enhances your body’s natural ability to heal itself. It can be used as a preventative measure, protecting your body from other health issues. However, if you want to take full advantage of the benefits yoga has to offer, you need another key component. Nutrition. Below are some nutrients to keep in your diet as you practice yoga.
An amino acid is essentially a building block of protein. A chain of amino acids makes a protein. Amino acids are part of every cell in your body and are necessary for everything your body does. Amino acids are classified into three groups: essential, nonessential, and conditional. Some of these amino acids your body produces while others must come from a food source. Amino acids are especially important when exercising. They help strengthen your muscles and provide energy. Here are a few amino acids to consider:
This amino acid, on a whole, needs obtained from your diet. The benefits of glutamine include
- Supports the restoration of your energy stores
- Boosts your immune system
- Supports tissue repair
- Improves your muscle mass and strength
Arginine is known to support your heart health. A healthy heart makes for better exercise. Arginine also
- Improves blood flow and pressure
- Supports your immune system
- Stimulates wound healing
- Lowers complications during healing and recovery periods
This amino acid has physical and mental benefits. It is an essential part of tryptophan, which is linked to overall mental health. Serine also supports:
- A strong immune system
- The proper function of our brains
- Muscle strength and repair
If you have never tried an amino acid supplement, you should consider one. It will only support the goals you hope to achieve by doing yoga. The amino acids mentioned above will help accelerate your recovery after a yoga session. They are also fast acting and are quickly absorbed by your body—meaning you will feel the benefits a lot sooner.
Other important nutrients
There are many nutrients that benefit your body before, during, and after exercise. Nutrition is a critical part of any exercise regimen. Below are some key nutrients to have in your diet. A joint supplement is an effective way to find these nutrients.
Vitamin C: needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body.
Boron: important for building strong bones, aids in strengthening muscles, and improves mental processing and muscle coordination.
Sam-E: known to treat pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, and improve mobility.
Hyaluronic Acid: helps lubricate your joints and stimulate tissue repair.
Manganese: critical in the breakdown of carbohydrates and amino acids.
Calcium: a component of teeth and bones and important for the contraction of muscles.
We all need something in our life that is good for our soul. If you already do yoga, you know the benefits it can have for your soul. But, what does make something good for your soul? When your body and your mind work in harmony. When you feel physically well and mentally well. Even a sense of peace and tranquility in your life. That is what is good for your soul. Since yoga focuses on strengthening your mind and body, it boosts your overall health. And that has to be good for you soul!
It’s been said “Whatever’s good for your soul, do that”. Why not give yoga a try? You will only see benefits.