The countless benefits of yoga

Yoga has various benefits, such as stress relief and health improvements, while also being very relaxing and fun.

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The countless benefits of yoga

Skylar Smith '18

Skylar Smith '18

Skylar Smith '18

Rebecca Jordan, Writer

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There are many great benefits as a result of doing yoga. These benefits most commonly include health improvement, stress relief, and self-healing in general. “The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body,” wrote Dr. Natalie Nevins, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California, in an article on osteopathic.org.

There are more than 100 different schools, or types, of yoga. However, most sessions usually include meditation, breathing exercises, and assuming postures that are intended to stretch and flex the different muscles in your body. Dr. Nevins also said, “As an osteopathic physician, I focus a lot of my efforts on preventive medicine and practices, and in the body’s ability to heal itself.”

Yoga especially provides a lot of physical benefits. It helps one’s physical health to improve, strengthen, and heal from any impairments. “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” wrote Dr. Nevins, “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.” These are just some of the amazing results from practicing yoga. Other physical benefits include increased muscle strength, tone and flexibility, weight loss, improved athletic performance, energy, respiration and vitality, and a balanced metabolism. Overall, yoga is the perfect practice and exercise for a healthy and stress-free body.

Yoga not only helps one’s physical health, but also remarkably helps mental health. One of the best and most outstanding benefits is assistance with managing and relieving stress. Stress is well-known, especially by Xavier students, to have devastating effects on the mind, body, and sleep pattern. Xavier junior, Jope Adaralegbe, said, “Ever since I took yoga class last semester, I make sure to fit yoga into my free time whenever I am feeling extra stressed, anxious, or tense about something.” The yoga practices of meditation and breathing exercises can greatly enhance one’s mental well-being. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention, and sharpens concentration,” explains Dr. Nevins. In general, clearing one’s mind and reaching a more optimistic and calm perspective on life can truly help someone, especially students as they prepare for finals.

There are various types of yoga exercises, so, therefore, it is possible for anyone to start practicing yoga. “Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style,” concluded Dr. Nevins.

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