Living your best life looks different for everyone, and for some, yoga makes life worth living. Robin Martin, an international yoga teacher living in Seattle, helps others find their spark in life through this ancient science. He has been doing it for about 20 years and says there are both physical and mental benefits. Robin has also noticed these benefits in herself and in her students.
“I focus on my teaching on joint longevity. So healthy joints that get you through a life of physical health, and of course the mental benefits are moving meditation and the opportunity to just let go of the things that happen in the world. When the world is especially challenging, it’s really nice to push things around for a moment. “
How Yoga Can Help You Live Your Best Life
Studies on yoga have reported many of these physical and mental benefits. A new study found that 89% of people who practice yoga saw a reduction in chronic pain symptoms. Yoga helps strengthen and stretch the joints, which causes energy to flow back into the body. Once your energy becomes more balanced, cases of pain or discomfort begin to subside.
Yoga also reduces stress, a big complaint in today’s world. Many studies have shown that yoga reduces cortisol levels, which helps practitioners feel more relaxed and at ease. In fact, women on a three-month yoga program had lower cortisol, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Chronic inflamation it is also a growing problem, an epidemic even in our modern world. Our unhealthy diets, stressful lifestyles, lack of sleep, and an unbalanced life generally promote inflammation. This can lead to diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. However, yoga can significantly reduce inflammatory markers.
TO 2015 study divided 218 participants into two groups: yogis and non-yogis. Both groups performed moderate and intense exercises to assess their stress levels. At the end of the study, the yogis had lower levels of inflammatory markers than the non-yogis.
Yoga can even improve the quality of sleep, a lifestyle factor that many people need help with today. in a 2005 study, 69 elderly patients were told to do yoga or take a herbal supplement or were placed in a control group. The yoga group ended up sleeping faster, sleeping longer, and feeling more rejuvenated than the other two groups.
Another study looked at how yoga affected sleep in lymphoma patients. They found that yoga reduced sleep disturbances, improved the quality and duration of sleep, and reduced the need for sleep medications. Although scientists are still not sure how it works, yoga helps increase melatonin levels, regulating sleep cycles.
Improve mental illness
Finally, yoga can cause significant changes in certain brain chemicals that reduce the risk of mental illness. in a Boston University Study, the scientists performed brain scans on 19 volunteers: eight experienced yogis and 11 non-yogis. The brain scans were performed using advanced magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging to measure gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels. People with anxiety and depression generally do not have enough of this chemical.
The scientists took the scans at the beginning of the experiment. Subsequently, the yoga group participated in a one-hour yoga session, while the other group read a book. The researchers conducted another scan after the groups finished their activities. What they found was remarkable, to say the least.
“We showed a 27 percent increase in the brain GABA levels of those who do yoga, a really significant increase,” said Dr. Chris Streeter, professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. The researchers did not notice any change in GABA levels for those who read the book.
These are just some of the wonderful benefits that you can enjoy from a regular yoga practice. Robin says he definitely notices a difference when he hasn’t practiced in a few days.
How Robin is living his best life with yoga
“I stay motivated to keep practicing yoga because I know that if I don’t, sometimes I fall into depression, sometimes anxiety,” says Robin.
He also says that when you don’t practice, you notice that your body doesn’t feel refreshed or vibrant. However, you usually notice the mental aspects first when you go a few days without practicing.
“If I don’t move and don’t breathe, I tend not to feel good, so that’s enough to keep me motivated and moving in my practice,” says Robin.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t have to feel pressured to strike difficult poses. Go at your own pace and let your mind and body relax in practice. There are many types of yoga, but most beginners start with Hatha yoga. It consists of holding poses for a longer period of time than the Vinyasa style, which focuses on moving through many poses relatively quickly.
“The most rewarding thing about what I do is share a practice that I know really has a great impact on people both mentally and physically. It’s really amazing to know that after an hour or so of moving your body, you can clear your mind, relax your thoughts, let go of anxiety, let go of stress, and end up physically better. “
Final thoughts: yoga offers many benefits for your mind and body, helping you achieve your best life.
Robin and many other yogis around the world can attest to the incredible benefits of yoga. Not only does it help to relax the mind and reduce the symptoms of mental illness, it also reduces stress on the body. People everywhere can improve their quality of life by adding a simple 30 minute or hour routine to their day.
The point of yoga it is to unite your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness or Spirit. By preparing your body with yoga poses, you can improve your mental and physical health, helping you sit longer to meditate. However, if you are not interested in that aspect of yoga, you can still experience a better quality of life through practice.