You are probably wondering if you should start yoga, or maybe you have started and are looking for something to justify the ache of the unused muscles. You might not think that this is worth it, but there are a lot of benefits to regular yoga practice. Through this piece of content, we have detailed all the interesting facts about Yoga – Before and After. If you are curious already, then dive in!

Positive Impact of Yoga

There are many types of things that will improve after you set a regular yoga routine. Some may show up sooner than others, but most of these will begin to show eventually. Research has shown three categories where you may see improvement: physical, mental, and spiritual. Below is a list explaining each category and examples of how they manifest in you after a while of consistent yoga exercise.

Physical Improvements

A physical benefit is anything relating to the condition of your body improving. Whether you look at the poses individually or yoga as a whole, it has a lot of physical benefits for such a low-demanding exercise. Many people see the following results just after 30 days:

Muscle Strength

Nearly every exercise will have some physical benefit. Yoga is no exception. People see an improvement in muscle strength in as little as 30 days. 

Weight Loss

Yoga burns calories, up to 450 calories in one hour. Routines typically last between 2 to 2.5 hours. When you burn calories, you burn fat which means you lose weight. It may not be apparent for a while, but results will show this eventually. 

Flexibility

Due to its inherently flexible nature, yoga will help increase your natural ability to bend. Yoga makes your body looser, allowing you to move freely without sudden pain. Flexibility helps balance and lower your chances of injuring muscles, improve your posture, and help you gain coordination. 

If you have ever deemed yourself naturally clumsy, you should be able to benefit from yoga. It helps you find your center of gravity in a variety of positions, making it easier to find your balance while walking around.

Blood Pressure

Yoga works to safely lower your blood pressure, both by getting your body moving and by reducing stress levels. A University of Pennsylvania study found that yoga even helped lower blood pressure in people with moderate hypertension.

Remember that yoga is not a cure-all. If you suffer from high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about treatment. Yoga is not a cure, but it may help.

Pain Relief

People with chronic neck and back pain have shown improvement by practicing yoga regularly. A 2017 study showed improvement in a little over 12 weeks. 

Lung and Heart Function

When you exercise, your heart rate and oxygen intake increase. This is working specifically with your cardiovascular endurance. When you do yoga, it gradually exercises these muscles, working to lower your heart rate and expand your lung capacity. 

Immunity

When you exercise, all body systems benefit from it. After doing yoga regularly for a while, your immune system will improve, meaning your natural defense system will work better, causing you to catch fewer common colds or other ailments throughout your life.

But physicality is not the only type of improvement you will see.

Mental Improvements

Cognitive functions and mental health are things to talk about in the world today and seeing as yoga is used to be a link between your mind and body, there is no doubt that mental benefits are bound to occur. These improvements may take a bit longer, and may need a bit of extra help, but are definitely worth the wait.

Less Anxiety 

One of the main principles of yoga is deep breathing. When you focus on your breathing stress, and anxiety will lessen. Yoga gives you a place of peacefulness, helping calm you down whenever you get stressed. This was even proved in a Boston University study.

A meta analysis that was performed in the year 2016, submitted 42 studies that proved yoga could help reduce cortisol (stress releasing hormone) levels, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, and even regulate high blood pressure. 

Self-Love

People who regularly practice yoga have shown higher rates of self-compassion and overall better mental health. Yoga has been directly linked with higher self-esteem as well. This is mainly because you are actively working towards a healthier version of you

Better Concentration

One of the most commonly reported benefits is a rise in concentration. Due to the awareness that practicing yoga brings, you are more likely to know what needs to be done and have an easier time completing those tasks

Improve Depression

Exercising, in general, can work as an antidepressant, but yoga in specific is a great tool that can help alleviate depression. Connecting your mind and body is what yoga was founded on, it was made to help you gain just as much mental strength as physical.

Confidence

When you practice yoga, you start to feel better about yourself. It is a proven fact that knowing that you are making a change will make you feel better about yourself. When you start seeing results, you will feel better about yourself and the things that you can accomplish.

Remember that yoga is not a replacement or a doctor’s recommendation. If you are struggling heavily with anxiety, depression, or other mental issues, talk to your doctor for a treatment plan. Yoga helps the symptoms, not the disorder.

Spiritual Improvements

Yoga started as more of a spiritual experience and was recently switched to more of a physical exercise than a mental one. For those who believe in the spiritual side of things, there are some benefits.

Inner Peace

As previously mentioned, yoga works to lower levels of stress and anxiety, but did you know that anxiety can cloud your chakras and surround your entire life? Regular yoga practice helps you to open up your chakras and can help you find inner peace.

Spiritual Awareness

Once you activate your chakras, you gain an inherent sense of self. This will make you more aware of what you need, mentally and physically. This leads to a higher tendency to take care of yourself.

Living Life

With clouded chakras, it can lead to a feeling of dissociation from life, like you are not present in your own life. Yoga helps remove this block and brings you to a more mentally aware lifestyle.

Emotional Healing 

Yoga allows you to be in tune with yourself, meaning you can get better in tune with your emotions. You go on a path of healing emotionally, allowing yourself to feel more aligned.

Creativity

The positions that yoga poses put you in change your perspective on things. When you see things in a new light, it automatically opens up your mind to new possibilities. Not only does this increase your creativity, but it also leads to better problem-solving skills.

FAQ

What should I eat before and after my yoga practice?

Ideally, yoga is recommended to practice early in the morning on an empty stomach. But if you are someone who is packed with hectic schedules and would like to squeeze in your regular dose of yoga during the day then follow the below mentioned timelines.

  • 3 to 4 hours of gap after a heavy lunch
  • 1 to 2 hours of gaps after a light meal or snack
  • 30 to 45 minutes after a salad or fruit juice
  • 15 minutes after drinking water

These are the recommended time gaps before you start your practice. After finishing your practice as well, you must allow a 15 minutes of gap before any intake of food for your body to re-acclimate itself.

When should I do yoga? Yoga before or after workout?

Yoga can be practiced either before or after your workout. However, expert practitioners recommend yoga as a cool down post an intense workout session more than as a warm-up tool. Yoga itself can also work as a great workout on days that you are rejuvenating.

What practices should I follow before and after yoga?

In addition to the well known warm-up or cool down stretches, there are certain practices that you must follow to reap the best of yoga for both your mind and body.

Before your yoga practice:

  • Keep your surroundings clean
  • Choose a calm and quite place
  • Use your washroom and clear your bladder 
  • Wear the right clothes
  • Keep the necessary gear such as mat, blocks, straps or cushion handy
  • Consume honey in lukewarm water if you feel weak
  • Rest if you are unwell or exhausted, it’s ok to skip a day
  • Consult your teacher or medical practitioner before jumping into new poses

After your yoga practice:

  • Rehydrate your body after the class 
  • Eat only after a minimum gap of 15 to 20 minutes
  • Take a shower after 20 to 30 minutes of your practice
  • Start your chores of the day with a calm mind, don’t rush after yoga
  • Try to include pranayama and meditation as a post relaxation

Why is yoga recommended as a post workout stretch?

Practicing yoga after a high intense workout will help the body to cool down and acclimate itself into a resting phase. Some of the benefits of this practice are:

  • Improves muscles recovery and assists in faster healing
  • Stretches all the muscles and improves flexibility
  • Intense workout could raise blood sugar levels. Yoga helps regulate hormones like cortisol which helps in maintaining  healthy blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes
  • Yoga brings the body to a resting state and restores your regular pulse rate

How soon can I see the results after starting my yoga practice?

If you are consistent in your practice, you must be able to start witnessing some positive results in a timeframe of 6 to 12 weeks. However, this period is totally dependent on an individual’s lifestyle, medical history, body type, and many other factors. So, this can only be considered as a generic measure. 

Conclusion

Despite your beliefs on what yoga is, or even how you use yoga, there are benefits if you have a consistent exercise schedule. Remember that it takes time and effort to get desired results. Try your best not to get frustrated. It may take closer to 2 months for anxiety to lessen or for you to show weight loss. Every person is different and results will vary based on that. You may not get every benefit listed here or you might, who knows? You will not know until you give it a shot!

Authors
SriLakshmi

SriLakshmi

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Devina Prasad

Devina Prasad

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