In the modern metropolitan world the pace of life is remarkably fast. These days many people complain that they experience unmanageable levels of stress. Yoga and meditation are often cited as good coping mechanisms to help alleviate stress and improve health by doctors and osteopaths.
Here are five compelling reasons why yoga and meditation can help to relieve stress and improve your health.
Yoga Builds Strength, Flexibility and Fitness
Most obvious of all is the fact that regularly practicing yoga will result in better core muscle strength, flexibility and general fitness. Many of the poses you hold during yoga, even resting poses such as downward facing dog, help to build strength and flexibility throughout the whole body. The spinal twists created by many yoga poses also help to wring out toxins from the body, and, if practiced regularly, many poses encourage good blood circulation.
Setting Aside Time for Yoga or Meditation Forces You to Make Time for Yourself
Stress often arises when you manage your time poorly. If you feel you have too much to do in the time you have to do it you experience stress. If mental stresses are not alleviated they often manifest as physical injuries. Back injuries in particular are associated with mental stress. If you practice yoga or meditation you create space in your life to nurture your mental and physical health. This breeds confidence, perspective and better judgement in your work, helping you to better manage potentially stressful situations.
Many people tense their diaphragm when they are stressed. The focus on deep abdominal breathing in both meditation and yoga forcibly relaxes the diaphragm and eases tension in your muscles. Apportioning a part of the day or week to focus on yourself as intensely as you do in meditation and yoga will force you to better manage your time, lower your blood pressure and build your confidence.
Meditation Builds Your Concentration
Meditation is used by high powered business leaders to help them build concentration and focus. Taking time each day to focus on your breathing allows you to gain perspective about what matters. The report you had to finish or the presentation you are due to give the next day can be seen for what they are: small achievable tasks, rather than gargantuan hurdles. Meditation allows you to bring a better concentration to the work you do, increasing your productivity and clarity of thinking.
Yoga For Bad Backs
Yoga is often recommended by osteopaths to help in the daily management of back problems commonly associated with stress. By building the core muscles through regularly practicing yoga you improve your posture and the stress on back injuries.
Yoga and Meditation Encourage Greater Awareness
Yoga and meditation both encourage the development of an awareness of the body. Too much time spent behind a computer and sat at a desk means you are disconnected from your body and unconscious of things such as bad posture, which can lead to injury. The focus, particularly in yoga, of using the breath to develop awareness of your body means you have a greater consciousness of where you hold tension in your body.
There are a range of different styles of yoga and meditation that can be practiced at varying levels of ability and by anyone of any age. Attend a class in either to discover a better path to improved health.