Updated: Aug 18, 2021
I am sure you've heard multiple people gush about how Yoga is so good for you and your mental health. But why?
It's certainly very difficult to keep this list concise and to a maximum of 7 entries, as the benefits of a regular practice of Yoga are incredibly varied, but we gave it a try.
Check out below our 7 reasons why your should start practising Yoga.
1. Yoga enhances work productivity
We have all experienced the dangers of procrastination when trying to get anything done on our days off. So, it’s natural that some of us are feeling anxious that having to work from home will decrease our productivity, negatively impacting work performance. Well, fear no more: there is substantial evidence that shows that practicing yoga on a regular basis enhances one’s productivity you can find an example here.
Yoga can help you turn this change in circumstances in your favour – and actually get more done in less time.
2. Yoga improves concentration
Good quality Yoga teaches powerful techniques to enhance attention and seriously improve concentration. The use of Pratyahára – abstraction of senses, Dháraná – continuous concentration, and Dhyána/Samádhi – genuine Meditation allows the yoga practitioner to make quick and inspired decision. A recent literature review on the benefits of Yoga on cognition can be found here.
3. Yoga is a powerful anti-stress tool
There is substantial evidence to show your brain and body work at their best when you are relaxed. In today’s world in particular, all the worrying outside news can overwhelm us with stress and anxiety. More than ever, we need to find ways to bring back joy and bliss into our lives. And what better way to do that than through yoga, which has been extensively proven to reduce stress and relieve symptoms of anxiety?
Through the adequate use of breathing (Pránáyáma) and relaxation techniques (Yoganidrá) amongst others, Yoga reduces overall blood levels of cortisol and produces deep changes in brain function. It is so effective that some studies have suggested that Yoga can be considered as a complementary or even alternative method to medical therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
4. Chronic back pain? Yoga can help too!
Chronic pain affects 8% of young people aged 13 to 18 years and 10% of adults in the UK. As we go back to working from home, most of us are spending more time sitting down in front of our computer screens. If you aren’t lucky enough to have an office at home (or at least a dedicated work place), you may find yourself working from your couch or your bed. There is no running from it – your posture will suffer.
The good news is that Yoga is here to help! Yoga has been consistently demonstrated to be a very effective means of managing and preventing such debilitating conditions – both through posture re-education and as an actual pain relief strategy. In fact, a recent study showed how Yoga can cause twice the reduction of pain levels in chronic patients compared to physical exercise alone.
5. Yoga helps you see the bright side of life
Just ask any yogi how they feel after a good quality yoga class – Yoga helps you reconnect with the best in you, awakening a deeper awareness of ourselves and our relationship with the Universe around us. The perspective gained through Yoga will not only help you see the glass half-full – it will help you fill the glass as well!
Yoga helps us live in the present moment (instead of focusing on the past or worrying about the future) and appreciate everything that surrounds us. This cultivates a sense of gratefulness and contentment (concept of Samtosha - one of the 5 niyama) that has been extensively studied as a promoter of well being.
6. You don’t need to break the bank to start practising
Practicing Yoga is relatively inexpensive – all you need is yourself (kind of essential :), comfortable clothing that you probably already ow (whether you prefer 'baggy' or slim fit clothing, as long as it's comfortable and doesn't restrict your movement), a yoga mat (not essential but recommended – you can use a folded long towel).
Your only investment is the most important one – your yoga teacher. Make sure you enrol in classes taught by highly qualified yoga instructors, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Yoga is a seriously complex practice, and its benefits can only be truly unlocked with appropriate and correct tutoring.
7. You can get started with Yoga from the comfort of your own home
Though in normal times you would ideally practise Yoga in an in-person class setting, online classes are a great alternative to access this wonderful wisdom from the comfort of your own home. In a period where all in-person venues are closed to the public, there is no more excuses not to start your practice now!
Yoga can be truly life-changing – don’t let this opportunity to try it go by. If you want to learn more about Yoga, check our class schedule or read the testimonials from some of our students.
Give Yoga Sámkhya a try with our 14-day free trial here!