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25 Benefits of Yoga For Beginners

Feb13

25 Benefits of Yoga For Beginners

Categories // Rustic Retreat

Read Our List of 25 Benefits Here

If you are not yet a practicing yogi, you sure will be, after you read our list of the 25 benefits of yoga.

If you want a bit of background on what yoga is first, before diving in, read our Yoga for Beginners Guide here.

Read on to discover the many ways yoga can benefit you.

There is a multitude of both mental and physical health benefits of yoga, though not all of these benefits have been expressly backed by science, more and more researchers are releasing studies on its benefits all the time.

Regardless of science or not, what it really comes down to is each individual person and their unique experience with yoga.

You need to practice yoga regularly in order to truly understand and reap its benefits. Like most things in life, it takes consistency.

Yoga has the power to completely change your life if you let it. Ultimately you are your own medicine, and yoga is just the key to tapping into it.

There is a multitude of reasons why yoga can only make your life better, read our list of 25 benefits here.

If you are not yet a practicing yogi, you sure will be, after you read our list of the 25 benefits of yoga.

If you want a bit of background on what yoga is first, before diving in, read our Yoga for Beginners Guide here.

There is a multitude of both mental and physical health benefits of yoga, though not all of these benefits have been expressly backed by science, more and more researchers are releasing studies on its benefits all the time.

Regardless of science or not, what it really comes down to is each individual person and their unique experience with yoga.

You need to practice yoga regularly in order to truly understand and reap its benefits. Like most things in life, it takes consistency.

Yoga has the power to completely change your life if you let it. Ultimately you are your own medicine, and yoga is just the key to tapping into it.

Read on to discover the many ways yoga can benefit you.


  1. Yoga is for Everyone

This is probably one of the most beautiful things about this practice. Doesn’t matter how fit or flexible you are, yoga is something that anyone can do.

It’s an adaptable practice that can be shaped to suit your needs and body type. Yoga crosses over gender, race, class and culture and creates a safe space for everyone and anyone.

  1. Decreases Stress and Relieves Anxiety

Yoga is well known for its relaxation benefits, and for being a stress and anxiety reducing practice.

There have been various studies that have shown how yoga can actually decrease the secretion of cortisol (primary stress hormone in people) and regulate adrenal glands.

One study observed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), of which severe anxiety and fear were issues after experiencing trauma.

The women who practiced yoga once a week, already showed fewer symptoms of PTSD, after just 10 weeks. The study even showed that 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all!

Although the studies don’t say exactly how yoga reduces anxiety, it could very well be contributed to how yoga anchors you into the present, and by focusing on shifting your energy you are able to feel less stressed and more at peace, therefore shifting your mental state.

The Benefits Of Yoga

  1. Improves Quality of Life

Yoga can be an incredible tool in improving your quality of life. From enhancing your mood to a better quality of sleep.

Studies have found that yoga has helped patients with cancer have improved sleep quality, spiritual well-being, social function, as well as a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  1. May Reduce Depression

Some studies reveal that yoga has the ability to take on an anti-depressant like effect and could help reduce symptoms of depression.

It’s been recorded that yoga is able to decrease levels of cortisol, your body’s main stress hormone that influences levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter often associated with depression.

These results speak volumes to the power that yoga has in helping to fight against depression. It may not be a cure on its own, but it’s a worthwhile tool to implement with any other traditional methods of treatment.

  1. Alleviates Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition and has been defined as any pain that lasts between 3-6 months or longer.

The pain can come from a range of causes from injuries to medical conditions like osteoporosis.

A 2005 study was conducted on participants with osteoarthritis of the knees. The results showed that yoga helped to decrease pain and improve physical function in their knees.

Yoga may not be able to cure your pain completely, but it could very well alleviate pain for a short while which makes it worth giving it a go!

The Benefits Of Yoga

  1. Improves Quality of Sleep

Studies have shown that including yoga in your daily routine can improve your quality of sleep and overall well-being.

It’s also been shown that yoga can enhance the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and alertness.

As we already mentioned yoga has a notable effect on reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain which are all common causes to sleep issues.

  1. So Many Types of Yoga to Choose From

The great thing about yoga is that there are so many varying types. If one type doesn’t resonate with you, you can try the next until you find one that you feel comfortable with.

Hatha is one of the earliest styles of yoga and is what many other types of yoga are based off.

We recommend trying a few different styles so you can get a feel for which practice you’ll enjoy most — who knows you might just enjoy all of them!

Take a look at our Yoga for Beginners Guide for a breakdown of some of the most popular types of yoga.

  1. Improves Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility and Balance are two of the more obvious benefits of yoga. There is a common misconception that you need to be flexible in order to practice yoga and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many people who start yoga can barely touch their toes, but with consistent practice you will begin to loosen your muscles and lengthen the connective tissue.

Yoga helps to create flexibility in areas such as your hamstrings which may be very tight, and tight hammies can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can result in back pain.

Improved balance through yoga is due to increased proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space).

Having a better sense of balance can prevent falling which is greatly beneficial for those who are more elderly and for those of us who will get old.

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  1. Builds Strength

Yoga is also a brilliant strength builder. There are many poses in yoga that are designed to increase strength and build muscle.

In one study, 79 adults performed 24 cycles of sun salutations — a series of foundational poses often used as a warm-up — six days a week for 24 weeks.

The results showed a significant increase in upper body strength, endurance and weight loss, and the women were also found to have a decrease in body fat percentage.

  1. Prevents Cartilage and Joint Breakdown

Yoga can prevent cartilage and joint breakdown by you moving them through their full range of motion while providing a normal amount of pressure and resistance to them when you practice.

By “squeezing and soaking" areas of cartilage that aren’t often used, you can help to prevent disabilities and conditions like degenerative arthritis.

Joint cartilage is like a sponge and in order for it to receive fresh nutrients, it needs fluid to be squeezed out so a new supply can be soaked up.

Cartilage, if neglected and not maintained properly, can eventually wear out, exposing the bone underneath like worn-out brake pads.

  1. Protects your Spine

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that spinal health is crucial. The spine supports your entire body, protecting the nerves and enabling movement.

Yoga is greatly beneficial in maintaining healthy movement and strength of the spine.

The physical aspect of yoga and the various postures allow the spine to elongate and stretch and strengthen its range of motion.

By improving the agility and flexibility of the spine, yoga can help reduce the chances of spinal injuries.

Yoga poses aid the muscles which support the spine to be in alignment with the deep core muscles and the abdomen.

  1. Increases Blood flow

Just like many other physical forms of exercise, yoga increases blood flow and sends more oxygen to your cells and tissues.

Twist out venous blood from internal organs with twisting postures and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the pose is released.

While inversions, like headstands, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated.

The Benefits Of Yoga

  1. Drains your Lymphs and Boosts Immunity

Lymph refers to the lymphatic fluid which is a clear watery liquid that helps your immune system filter out the bacteria in your body.

The lymphatic system is responsible for carrying proteins and lymphocytes to your tissues, and this works through the movement of your body.

Because this system does not have its own pump, it relies on movement to get the fluids through your body.

When practicing yoga you’re constantly contracting and stretching muscles, moving organs around and moving your body into other poses which all increases the drainage of the lymph.

By doing this you help the lymphatic system fight against infections, destroy cancerous cells, and expel toxins.

  1. Gives you Inner Strength and Guidance

Yoga can be both meditation in stillness or meditation while moving, during either you quieten the mind, focus on the breath and anchor yourself into the present.

When doing this you allow yourself to tap into the divine source of wisdom and strength that resides within you.

You create space and expansiveness to open a channel of inner strength and guidance that can pour through you — while you are both on and off your mat.

  1. Improves Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem

Improving self-awareness and self-esteem are significant benefits of yoga and meditation.

Through becoming more aware of your body, mind and breath you cultivate a habit of this awareness, which can make it easier to break free from certain patterns of behaviour or emotions.

Often at the start of a yoga class, you are prompted to set an intention for your practice and this immediately creates a loving sense of self-awareness and acceptance.

Your self-esteem will improve gradually as you learn to accept and love your body when practicing.

Many yoga classes promote compassion, both for yourself and others and non-comparison for your journey and others.

  1. Perfects Posture

Sitting at a desk or computer all day can have serious adverse effects on your posture, amongst other things.

Bad posture can lead to major issues such as back pain, cardiovascular issues, digestion issues, and even an eventual change of the curve of the spine itself.

Yoga is one of the best ways to combat the negative effects of hunching, sitting at a desk all day and various other things that contribute to bad posture.

Heart opening yoga poses like camel pose is great for inverting the hunched back and shoulders which is caused by spending too much time sitting.

  1. Benefits Children

The benefits of yoga for kids is multiple and every parent should consider encouraging their child to practice.

It’s a non-competitive activity that encourages good habits, it teaches self-awareness and self-acceptance which all contribute to a healthy mental state.

Yoga can help children to focus more, while also calming them down. Find a kiddies yoga class near you and let them give it a go!

  1. Improves Breathing

The focus on breath is an essential part of every yoga practice.

Yogic breathing techniques (called pranayama) focus on slowing down the breath and breathing more fully and expansively from the depths of your stomach to the top of your lungs.

These breathing methods can help you to feel more calm, balanced and clear from any brain fog.

Focused breathing can help to increase lung capacity and more tidal volume (the total amount of air your lungs can hold at any one time).

The great thing here is that these techniques can be used whenever you need in daily life. They can help you stay calm in situations of high stress, emotion or emergency and can even reduce pain.

  1. Improves Sex Life

Improved sex life is one of the top benefits of yoga for men, as we’re sure any man would agree.

A research study from India found that yoga could help men with premature ejaculation.

While a 2011 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who practiced yoga for 12 weeks reported improved sexual function overall — including areas of desire, satisfaction with sex, performance, ability to control their ejaculation, and their orgasm.

These benefits are believed to be due to a combination of things, such as better pelvic muscle tone, improvements in mood and energy, and a reduction in anxiety.

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  1. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

A regular yoga practice can inspire you to become a more conscious eater.

Moving and burning calories will encourage you to eat healthier, while the spiritual and emotional aspect of your practice may help you to address any eating and weight issues on a deeper level.

An everyday practice that is gentle, is enough to fuel the metabolic system and help burn fat, leading to weight loss.

Daily yoga can also help restore the hormonal balance in your body, which can normalise your body weight.

It also lowers levels of cortisol, which will aid in less overeating.

  1. Increases Happiness and Energy

The unique synergy of body and breathwork during yoga is the perfect thing for when your energy levels are running low.

Movement and breath allow energy to circulate throughout the entire body, which helps to open up the chakras (or energy centres).

A study has shown that practicing yoga and meditation regularly results in higher serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).

  1. Helps Women with Pregnancy and Birth

The benefits of yoga for women during pregnancy are enough to make you keep a dedicated practice forever!

Prenatal yoga can be a great way to prepare for childbirth and it’s completely safe if done correctly.

It has a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centring and focused breathing.

It can help pregnant women sleep better, be less stressed and anxious, build strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles required for childbirth, as well as decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath.

We recommend checking in with your health care professional if you’re pregnant and want to start a yoga practice.

The Benefits Of Yoga

  1. Increases Mindfulness and Relaxation

Yoga is an awareness-based practice, which shifts your focus towards the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that come up when in a pose.

It’s through this awareness that will bring your mind back into the present moment — the main objective of mindfulness.

You will begin to practice mindfulness off your mat as well and this will promote a more calm and relaxed inner state.

In addition to this yoga encourages you to relax, slow down your breathing, and be in the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system — which is calming and restorative.

  1. Improves focus and clarity

The concentration on breathing during yoga postures and meditation can calm your mind and allow you to be more mentally relaxed.

This mental stability can result in you being able to recollect and retain more information. So just a few minutes of meditation and yoga in the morning can have you more focused throughout the rest of the day.

  1. Promotes a Longer Life

With all the benefits listed above, it’s easy to understand how an everyday yoga practice can help you live longer by adding precious years to your life.

And on top of it all, yoga can also decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the pace of your breathing which has been directly associated with a longer lifespan.

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Conclusion

We’ve covered many of the main benefits, but there are still more if you can even believe?!

The proof is in the pudding — ultimately, what it comes down to is that yoga will benefit your life for the greater good, you can read all the information you want about its benefits, but the true magic lies in your individual practice.

How has yoga helped you?

Here at Rustic Retreats, we believe in putting your well-being first — as the old adage goes, "you can’t serve from an empty cup".

All yoga levels are welcome! Learn more about our amazing Rustic Retreats here!

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