If you’re getting stuck in a rut these days, and need something to boost your spirits, it’s tempting to lean into back habits and pick up fast food or a pint of beer. But before you head for the bad vices, try yoga for just 15 minutes. 15 minutes of yoga practice a day can help to improve your mood and your health.
Whatever space or time you have, it can be easy to fit in 15 minutes of yoga a day and help to boost your health and make you feel better. Here’s some of the benefits of just 15 minutes of yoga a day.
Better Fitness Levels
You don’t have to do loads of cardio or lift loads of weights to improve your fitness. But these aren’t the only ways to work out. Yoga can do this too, and also make you feel peaceful and zen. Yoga combines cardio, stretching and strength training in one - and it can be done at your own pace at home.
A gentle 15 minute yoga practice can help you lose weight. Yoga fuels the metabolic system, and helps to burn fat which leads to weight loss. Did you also know that yoga can balance the hormones in your body, which in turn also normalises weight? Practicing yoga daily will also help to curb overeating. Yoga lowers the cortisol levels in the body, which is the hormone that causes stress. It can also help to boost your mental health, which can help you appreciate your body more.
Improves Strength and Posture
Practicing yoga once a day will help to stretch, tone and strengthen your body muscles. You can incorporate strength building exercises such as planks to build muscle. It can also help to improve your flexibility. You don’t have to be the most flexible to start practicing yoga, all levels of ability can practice it. Even 15 minutes daily can make a huge difference in your strength and flexibility, and you’ll soon be able to feel the difference - and notice the difference in your posture. You’ll be sitting up straighter, and you’ll notice aches and pains caused by incorrect posture less and less.
When you practice yoga, you can also work on your mindfulness. Yoga helps you be in the moment, and focus on the thoughts and sensations you get in each pose. This awareness will help to bring your mind into the present, which is the main aim of mindfulness - to help you feel focused. Mindfulness will help you to feel calm and chilled, and reduce anxious thoughts. Mindfulness also paves the way for you to feel more self confident and accepting of yourself.
It’s been proven time and time again that yoga is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Even a short daily practice can help to reduce the stress levels in the body. You should include poses, breathing and meditation. If you incorporate these elements, you will be able to regulate your heart rate, and your body will be able to respond to stress in a better way. Yoga can also help reduce stress to let you sleep better at night. Forward folds and relaxing poses will help to calm your mind, and allow you to feel relaxed before sleep.
Practicing yoga for just 15 minutes each day will help you breathe deeper and better. Breath work is essential in yoga practice, and yoga breathing techniques will focus on slowing down the breath and helping you breathe fully from the bottom of your stomach to the top of your lungs. Breathing deeply helps you feel relaxed, as well as improving your lung capacity. You can take these breathing exercises into your daily life to help you cope with stressful situations.
Increase in Energy
You may be feeling more lethargic than usual, but a few minutes of yoga everyday can help to give you a boost of energy. Yoga combines body and breath and gives a unique energy kick to your body and mind. Daily yoga can wake up the energy chakras in your body. Poses that extend and stretch your spine can help to circulate energy throughout your body, and poses that open up your chest will help you breathe deeper, bringing more energy into your body.
Improves Your Mood
A few yoga poses each day can help to boost your mood and make you feel happier. Combining a daily yoga practice with meditation can result in higher levels of serotonin, which is the hormone that makes you happy. It’s also been shown that the brain's GABA levels are higher after practicing yoga. High GABA levels in the brain are associated with lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Finally, thanks to the above benefits such as increased fitness, regulated heart rate, reduced stress and improved mood - you can add years to your life. Yoga also decreases the risk of things like heart disease. Generally, the health benefits of yoga improve your physical and mental state, which gives it an increased benefit than other exercise methods. Why not try a quick online yoga class today, and start reaping some of the benefits?
By Amy Cavill
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