Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

What are Yoga and Meditation?

Yoga is an ancient eastern practice founded in India thousands of years ago, which promotes physical, emotional and mental wellbeing through movement, stretching and mindful breathing techniques. Meditation is one of the key tools used in yoga to help quiet the mind. Although medical studies are few, anecdotal evidence, coupled with a number of compelling small studies indicate that regular yoga practice and meditation can produce many positive health benefits.

Physical Health Benefits

There are many forms of yoga, from gentle slow stretching, to more difficult and complex styles. Consequently, it is a type of activity which anyone can do; young and old, able bodied and those with limited mobility. As it is often a weight-bearing exercise, it can increase muscle and bone mass as well as promote flexibility and provide a cardiovascular workout.

Mental Health Benefits

Breathing techniques and meditation are an important part of yoga practice. Learning to breath properly and fully oxygenate the body has proven to reduce anxiety and promote a feeling of wellbeing. Meditation is a process of clearing the mind and finding silence, which in turn may help reduce stress and some forms of depression.

Emotional Health Benefits

Yoga and meditation, practiced over time, have been proven to increase the natural serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can improve mood and outlook as well as promoting a healthy sleeping pattern which may in turn reduce the need for some medications.