Over the past decade or so, a vast amount of scientific research has been carried out to investigate the benefits of Yoga for the human mind and body. The National Institute of Health has spent millions of dollars toward research on yoga, and nowadays it seems like new studies claiming new benefits of yoga are emerging every single day.
Thousands of peer-reviewed studies have now been conducted on the benefits of yoga, and the truth is practicing yoga has so many benefits that I could not possibly list them all in this article.
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I. So here are a few noteworthy benefits of yoga you can get by developing a consistent yoga practice:
- Improves flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
- Eases Asthma Improves memory
- Reduces insomnia
- Relieves pain more effectively than medication
- Perfects posture
- Lowers blood sugar
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
- Protects spine
- Helps with weight loss
- Slows down the aging process
- Helps recover from addiction
- Helps beat depression
- Increases energy levels
- Increases endurance Enhances fertility
- Reduces pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic conditions
- Boosts immune system functionality
- Increases blood flow
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves relationships
- Improves athletic performance
- Lowers blood pressure more effectively than medication
- Regulates adrenal glands
- Improves focus
- Cultivates mental strength
- Fosters creativity
- Helps sleep deeper
- Decreases muscle tension
- Improves balance
- Enhances feelings of happiness and vitality
- Enhances self-awareness
- Fosters peace of mind, happiness, and joy
- Develops intuition
- Builds wisdom
II. Get Benefits of Yoga by Turning Yoga into A Habit
Yoga is very much like going to the gym. Practice it regularly to get all the benefits of yoga, and you become fit. Slack off, on the other hand, and you become chubby. To attain all the benefits of yoga, and profound levels of inner peace, mental clarity, and happiness, you must practice yoga consistently.
In 2019, a study conducted at University College London showed that it takes on average 66 days to build a new habit. This means you need to invest about two months of effort before the behavior of meditation becomes automatic – something that you do without even thinking about it – a habit.
The key to making yoga automatic is to make it your top priority for the next 66 days. Yoga essentially has to become the most important activity in your day.
To read more about the benefits of yoga, click here.
III. Here are 8 ways to turn yoga into a habit:
1. Work on Your WHY to get all the befits of yoga and to turn it into a habit
It’s important to get crystal clear on why you want to make yoga a habit. Go through the list of benefits of yoga again and decide exactly why you want to practice yoga. Are you motivated to relieve stress, crush anxiety, be more successful or build stronger relationships?
Make sure your WHY resonates deeply within you. When you have figured out your WHY, start visualizing your success. Imagine how your life will be when you achieve your goal and use this image as fuel and motivation to keep you going throughout your yoga journey.
2. Commit to the activity
Take a moment and make an oath to yourself to start doing yoga every single day from now on. Firmly set your intention that you are going to do this and never give up. Feel the energy rising inside your body and seal the commitment with your heart.
3. Start Small
There is no “right” amount of time to do yoga for. If you’re a beginner, don’t fall into the trap of trying to do yoga for hours on end. You simply aren’t trained to sustain it yet. You can start with as little as 5 minutes of daily yoga, and you can gradually build your way up from there.
The key is to not overwhelm yourself when you’re starting– 5 minutes of yoga every day is much better than 5 hours of punctual yoga.
4. Decide on a fixed time and a trigger
When you are trying to develop a new habit, it’s very important to have a trigger that reminds you to perform the new behavior around the same time every day. The easiest way is to incorporate your meditation into your morning routine or evening routine.
The key is to choose a trigger that makes it easy to juxtapose the new behavior onto an already existing habit. You can decide for example that you are going to do yoga everyday day right after you brush your teeth in the morning or right before you go to bed.
5. Track Your Progress
Use a calendar to track your progress and make it visible. Markdown every time you follow through on your new habit. This will inspire you to keep going even when things get difficult. It will suddenly become more painful to break your streak. You can also use habit-tracking apps, which I have found to be extremely useful.
6. Be Accountable
Find an accountability buddy, preferably someone who is also looking to develop a long-term meditation practice. This will greatly increase your chances of success. When you have someone that holds you accountable, you will find it much more difficult to miss a session.
7. Split your sessions
One simple trick you can utilize to make your yoga practice more enjoyable is to split it into two smaller sessions. This will allow you to easily increase your overall session length. Instead of trying to practice for a whole 30 minutes, for example, it is much easier to do it for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
8. Reward Yourself
Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated. Your brain is constantly associating pain and pleasure with everything you do. So if you want your yoga habit to stick, trick your brain by rewarding yourself right after you have completed your session. It can be something as simple as patting yourself on the back and saying to yourself: ” Good job, you made progress today!”.
Remember, consistent action is the only way to make yoga a habit. By practicing it every day, you will create new neural pathways that will make the behavior automatic, and soon enough you won’t even have to expend any willpower to practice yoga. Make yoga a long-term habit, and it will transform every aspect of your life.
I hope this article was able to help you understand the various benefits of yoga, and how practicing yoga can bring peace, happiness, and joy into your life. The next step is to apply what you have learned and develop a long-term yoga practice.
It can be a challenging process, but I assure you that it is well worth it – You will enjoy a happier, more peaceful, and balanced life free from stress, anxiety, and depression. I wish you success on your yoga journey, and I hope you quickly start reaping the amazing benefits that yoga has to offer.
Also Read: How to Meditate: Yoga Poses for Meditation