Every year, World Health Day is observed on April 7 to raise awareness about the overall health and well-being of people across the globe. This year’s theme, “Our Planet, Our Health” focuses on the importance of promoting societies that center the health of every single human being and the planet at large.
What better way to celebrate the message of interconnectedness and harmony than through yoga—a practice entrenched in the philosophy of cultivating peace within oneself and with the world at large. In fact, the word “yoga” itself is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means “to join” or “to unite.”
When talking about yoga, most of us think of stretching and yoga poses or asanas. But yoga is so much more than just improved flexibility—it facilitates mental clarity, stress reduction, healthy aging, and holistic mental and emotional well-being.
Improves Muscle Strength and Balance
As many yoga poses require you to hold your body weight in ways you may never have done before, they allow you to stretch your muscles in challenging ways and build muscle strength and endurance. This in turn helps increase muscle tone and shapes the muscles in your legs, arms, back, and abdomen.
Improved balance is another crucial benefit of yoga, especially for older adults. The chair pose and warrior poses are a great way to strengthen your core and enhance posture and balance.
Yoga is especially good for you after a long day spent sitting in front of a computer screen. It can counteract the tightness, spinal compression, and back pain caused by prolonged sitting. Cat-cow poses, seated spinal twist, and cobra pose can help strengthen and support mobility in the spinal column, effectively reducing back pain and discomfort.
Provides Migraine Relief
Migraines are usually caused by disturbances in the autonomic nervous system and the circulatory system. Practicing yoga regularly restores the balance in these systems and provides your body with a proactive and holistic approach to dealing with migraines.
Promotes Joint Health
A recent study found that yoga can significantly improve joint pain and mobility in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The low-impact movements allow people to move their joints and strengthen around them without injuring themselves.
Fosters Better Mental Health
Though yoga can be intensely physical, it also involves extreme awareness of your body movements and being present in the moment. This allows you to calm your mind and take a break from everyday stress. Yogic practices like asanas, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques also decrease cortisol secretion in people with chronic anxiety and depression.
Yin yoga, in particular, allows practitioners to become more aware of their inner self, feelings, sensations, and emotions. The time spent holding each pose can be extremely therapeutic and meditative, leading to a more relaxed body and peaceful mind.
This World Health Day, start your path to healthier living by joining the Yoga Body Shop community at an upcoming class. Our instructors look forward to helping you successfully connect with your inner self and grow both physically and emotionally. Browse the class schedule to find a class that fits your day. Contact us at 607.677.0490 or visit our website today!