The yoga health benefits have been divided into 3 categories. The Physical Health Benefits of Yoga, Emotional Health Benefits of Yoga and the Mental Health Benefits of Yoga. A short explanation is given along with each benefit to help you understand better the mechanisms that Yoga employs to bestow it.
a) Physical Health Benefits of Yoga:
1. Energy: Yoga exercises, breath control training (pranayama) and use of yoga body locks (bandhas) all work to activate and balance your energy pathways, giving you the vitality and power you need to maximize your potential.
2. Strength: By strength here we don’t just mean physical muscular strength, although that will benefit greatly as well due to the steady holding of yoga poses and the exercises that yoga incorporates, but also the strength of your internal physiological systems. Strength of your immune system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive system, etc.
3. Healing: The power of Yoga to heal ailments and cure diseases is becoming more and more an integral part of mainstream medical practice and treatment methods. This ability of Yoga to heal also promotes longevity.
4. Flexibility: Yoga postures (asanas) are perhaps the best type of exercises you can do to improve flexibility. Flexibility is essential for avoiding injuries as well as for the health of the joints, tendons and muscles.
b) Emotional Health Benefits of Yoga:
5. Peace: Yoga meditations and practice methodology promotes a greater awareness and appreciation of the present moment, which calms the mind and allows the peace deep within to surface.
6. Joy: With the maturing of a Yoga practice, the beauty and depth of life become more apparent and the spontaneous joy of existence emerges.
7. Compassion: Yoga values and philosophy, along with the practice of yoga meditations, dissolves one’s ego-centric reality, thus developing other mindedness, thoughtfulness, generosity and compassion.
c) Mental Health Benefits of Yoga:
8. Brain Development: Yoga breathing exercises and yoga meditations develop parts of the brain that are normally dormant. Once these parts are activated the power of intuition, as well as other latent powers are unleashed. In addition as the brain develops so does your intelligence and clarity of thoughts.
9. Concentration: The requirement of many Yoga meditations to keep the mind focused on a single object or mantra (sound vibrations), helps to dramatically increase your power of concentration and focused attention.
10. Awareness: Yoga can simply be called the Science of Awareness. This is its primary purpose. To refine and increase awareness so that you can penetrate the veil of the ordinary dualistic mind and encounter your Divine Nature within.