Many people come to yoga with the misconception that it is ‘just a bit of stretching.’ Those same people leave their first power flow class dripping in sweat, ready to drift off into the deepest sleep of their life and awakened to the many health benefits of this ancient practice. These are 15 health benefits of power flow yoga that you may not already know.
1. Boosts Your Immune System
Yoga helps to lower stress hormones that wreak havoc on the immune system, while also stimulating the lymphatic system to ensure toxins are removed from the body. This practice also encourages us to be mindful of how and what we are putting into our body which ultimately keeps our immune system happy.
2. Helps You Bend So You Don’t Break!
A regular yoga practice helps to create flexibility in the body, as well as the mind. This means our muscles and joints are able to move as they were designed to, reducing your risk of injury and helping the mind to become more accepting of life as it comes.
3. Makes You Sleep Better
Despite what some may think, power flow yoga is intense! In a typical power flow class every part of the body is stretched and strengthened and at the same time the breath is used to relax and focus the mind; all of the ingredients for the perfect night’s sleep.
4. Reduces IBS & Improves Other Digestive Disorders
Twisting poses in yoga help to compress and massage the digestive organs restoring them to optimum health. The relaxation and mental benefits of yoga also help to relieve anxiety and stress which can often play a big role in digestive disorders.
5. Builds Muscle
Yoga is a weight bearing exercise which means it is great for building muscle. Many poses even require you to lift your entire body’s weight - more than what you’d probably choose to lift if you went to the gym!
6. Eliminates Toxins
Yoga helps to detoxify the body through stretching, pushing, pulling, compressing, twisting, building heat and increasing the oxygen pumping around the entire body. Each of these play a role in helping to eliminate the waste products of the body such as lymphatic fluid, lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
7. Helps To Regulate Hormones
Stress and toxins are the main culprits when it comes to a disrupted hormonal system and yoga helps to improve both. Specific yoga poses also work to stimulate the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands helping to them to work more effectively.
8. Increases Bone Strength
Bone density starts to decrease naturally after the age of 30 which means it is very important to practice exercise that helps to maintain bone health to avoid conditions like osteoporosis. As yoga is a weight bearing exercise it stimulates new bone growth by creating mild stress in the body. The unique nature of yoga means that it creates the stress required for bone health without jolting and jarring the body in other ways.
9. Improves Lung Capacity
The focus placed on the breath during a yoga practice has shown to be very beneficial for improving lung capacity and aiding other respiratory conditions like asthma. Many adults spend most of their day taking short shallow breaths however yoga teaches us how to use all of the lungs to breathe, ensuring all parts of this organ remains healthy.
10. Reduces Stress
Yoga helps to relieve stress and anxiety by encouraging regular exercise, self-care, mindfulness and meditation. It also teaches us how to use our most powerful stress-relieving tool, our breath to maintain calm throughout our day.
11. Improves Posture
From the very first pose, yoga teaches us how to correctly align the body from the top of the head all the way down to the toes. Most importantly we learn what good alignment feels like, which helps us to take this improved posture off our mats and into our lives as well.
12. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Chronic stress is a major factor in high blood pressure and yoga’s ability to relieve stress makes it an effective remedy for many people. The mindfulness and awareness created by a yoga practice also helps to impact other areas, like diet choices, which is another key factor when dealing with high blood pressure.
13. Helps Create Focus
On a purely physical level focus is an important part of how we remain in challenging postures. Yoga teaches us that by focusing our drishti, our view or gaze, our attention will naturally follow. On the mat we use our drishti to focus our awareness of our body so that we find balance. This also translates into our lives and we find that when we focus our gaze on our goals, we eliminate distraction and achieve what we want more easily.
14. Encourages Healthier Choices In Other Areas Of Your Life
Many of us come to yoga for the lithe, lean body. Many more leave with an appreciate of what it means to look after the body as a whole, not just it’s ability to impact our external appearance. Yoga is a powerful starting point for creating healthy changes in all areas of our lives from eating better, to reducing stress and making time for rest.
15. Makes You Happy!
The many ways that yoga works to change our lives in positive ways, combined with it’s key teachings of acceptance and gratitude, make it a powerful tool on the journey towards contentment and happiness
However, the only way to discover these benefits for yourself is to unroll your mat and start practicing power flow yoga today!
Even just 10 minutes of yoga can offer great benefits. After completing this invigorating flow, feel energized, present and focused. Don't postpone your practice! Instead, commit to some mini flows and transform your day.
This is a short, invigorating practice for anyone who does not have much time. Expect core strengthening, twists and vinyasa flow that link each pose with breath and movement.