The benefit of a great night’s sleep is reason enough to practice and this benefit may be granted even with a limited practice. Our skin too will naturally exfoliate itself in just one class by opening pores and ridding toxins through our sweat. Soundless sleep and refreshed skin are just few reasons to explain our ‘bikram glow.’
Another advantage comes over time with increased flexibility. Bikram’s beloved heat allows each of us to reach new depths and loosens are bodies so that we perform our physical activities to its full potential. Strong flexibility works to battle tight hips, tight hamstrings, and a rigid spine. This looseness makes each of our everyday tasks easier to accomplish. Flexibility feels great and is very useful in our daily lives, and who can argue how cool it looks. I must admit I have just incorporated our first standing back bend into a breaker-esque and crowd pleasing dance move.
Alongside our continual reaching is our breath, and we must never take the importance of quality breathing for granted. Yoga quickens our blood flow and allows for more oxygen to get to our cells which as a result helps them function better. Yoga also increases levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. There is blood thinning as a result of making platelets less sticky and by safely decreasing the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes. Studies have also shown drops in blood pressure and increased lymphatic drainage . This helps the lymphatic system fight infection and deplete the toxic byproducts. A boosted immune system through breathing and yoga sounds too good to be true but it definitely is!
Yoga asanas prevent cartilage and joint breakdown by all of its body motion and stillness. Yoga improves our posture by strengthening and our spine while we simultaneously protect it. Yoga in the long run will also show lower levels of sugar in our blood. Low blood sugar decreases your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
Yoga’s gifts extend to the mind and spirit. Yogis more than often leave the studio much happier than entering. We experience peace of mind during and in between asanas, and we feel better about ourselves each time we come. The yoga path is a healing one and we are reminded to care for ourselves in each moment of practice that eventually, if not immediately, will extend to remind us even when not in class.