What are the benefits of daily yoga & meditation? Is there MORE to it than downward dog, trendy workout mats and (sometimes) chanting the om sound?
Oh yes, there most certainly is. And they’re not just for tea-sipping hippies who talk about world peace.
On the contrary, Australian prisons, the U.S. military and corporate organisations recognise the benefits of yoga and meditation. They’ve even begun incorporating these practices into their routines.
Benefits of Yoga
Humans have been practising yoga for more than 5,000 years. The fact that it’s still being used – and is growing in popularity – means it must be adding value to people’s lives.
Initially, yoga was a mind, body, spirit practice to improve quality of life. While it still is, recent adopters are more interested in yoga for exercise. That may be why there’s now more than 20 types of yoga, e.g. Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga.
The list of yoga benefits is longer than a yogi’s hair. (FYI: Traditional yogis believe that having long hair draws more energy to the brain)
Studies have shown that yoga poses can:
- Reduce pain (acute and chronic)
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Decrease inflammation
- Strengthen the digestive system
- Improve flexibility, strength and balance
- Promote blood circulation
- Support cardiovascular health
- Improve sleep
- Aid addiction withdrawal
- Help with losing weight
- Deepen feelings of self-love
- Boost self-esteem.
One of the most famous yoga poses is Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation.
The benefits of surya namaskar are holistic, which is why it’s part of most yoga classes. Sun salutation is a series of 12 poses that can benefit every system in your body. Here’s how to perform it:
Benefits of Meditation
Have you tried meditation?
Before you say you can’t meditate or that your mind is too active to relax on command, know this:
There are more than 20 types of meditation.
Some ask you to quieten your mind, focus on your breathing and still your body, like in Yoga Meditation or Vipassana Meditation. Others ask you to perform gentle movements with calm awareness, like in Movement Meditation or even Yin Yoga. They all work a little differently to create the same outcome.
If you have a monkey mind, you may want to begin with Guided Meditation as it helps to tame a busy brain. Finding a style that suits may take time, but the benefits of meditation are worth it.
Entering the peaceful world of meditation can:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Decrease pain and discomfort
- Decrease blood pressure
- Improve sleep
- Enhance memory
- Lengthen attention span
- Increase mindful self-awareness
- Promote self-healing
- Reduce addictive tendencies
- Enhance patience and kindness
- Minimise negative emotions
- Boost happiness.
Meditation benefits for brain health are HUGE too. Here are a few meditation facts that might impress your brain.
The Daily Benefits Of Yoga & Meditation
Let’s pause for a moment and scroll back up to review all the benefits of yoga and meditation.
Scroll back up now…
…Okay, welcome back.
Did you notice these lists are very similar? That both yoga and meditation can help your body be healthier and mind feel happier?
Now, imagine how AMAZING you could feel if you gifted yourself with yoga and meditation daily.
You’d be helping yourself feel good in the moment AND you’d be building a better future for yourself. Think of it as preventive medicine, or like an insurance policy for future You.
These are just some of the conditions that a daily yoga and meditation practice can help treat (or even prevent):
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches
- Memory loss + more.
If doing yoga and meditation every single day feels a little overwhelming, that’s okay. Try committing to 3-4 days each week. Fortunately, you’ll still absorb all that yoga goodness and get the health benefits of meditation. It may just take slightly longer to achieve results.
Ready to start your yoga practice or find a meditation program that suits you?
Avaana can help!