Costa Rica Yoga Retreat – 10 Reasons to Practice Yoga
Posted by Jack Albritton on October 22, 2013
“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” Bob Harper
If you are looking for a healthier way to vacation, a Costa Rica yoga retreat might be just what you need to shake off the stress of everyday life, slow down and do something good for both body and soul. People worldwide are discovering and rediscovering the ancient practice of yoga which is known for its incredible health benefits as well as its calming affects on the mind. It doesn’t matter if you have practiced yoga for years or if you are just a beginner, you are sure to take something home with you that will last a lifetime.
1. To Relieve Stress
There are many physical and health benefits to practicing yoga but the biggest just might be relieving stress. Stress is thought by many experts to be as bad or worse on the body than smoking, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Yoga helps to minimize the effect stress has on the body by lowering the level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The slow deep breathing creates a sense of calm in the body and actually helps increase the elasticity in the diaphragm, so that when stretched it can handle the stress.
Yoga helps to increase range of movement which leads to improved flexibility and greater mobility. Yoga really takes us back to the flexibility that we were born with but lose as we get sedentary. One might say that yoga is the natural state where we are intended to be when it comes to flexibility. Don’t believe it? Just watch a baby for any amount of time and you will witness the flexibility of a practiced yogi. Increased flexibility as we age can help to prevent falls and accidents that are prevalent among senior citizens.
3. Better Circulation
A very important factor to one’s health is having good circulation in the body. Yoga is known to have an effect on blood circulation and the heart. The same techniques in yoga that lower the level of cortisol in the blood and reduce stress can also help to regulate blood circulation. This gets more oxygenated blood moving to the cells of the body. Poor circulation can lead to problems such as hypertension and vericose veins.
4. Breathe Better
Breath is something that so many take for granted yet it is without a doubt the most necessary bodily function. As we lose flexibility from our infancy on we somehow forget how to breath to best suit the body. Yoga promotes deep, slower breaths which increases the function of the lungs and causes the body to relax. In yoga, the breath is really the key to everything, physical and mental. It is said that if you can control your breath you can control your mind.
5. Helps Improve Strength
Yoga typically uses every muscle in the body which helps to increase overall body strength. Yoga flows from one pose to the next and is constantly using the yogi’s bodyweight. This leads to more symmetry by giving the body an all over workout. One is not going to get the bulk that they would by lifting weights, but it yoga will create a stronger, more impressive body. And many would consider this a much more functional fitness.
6. Relieves Tight Muscles
Although yoga can be a very intense physical workout, one can leave class feeling much like they got a deep tissue massage. Practicing yoga will stretch and relax your muscles and might just prevent you from developing that muscle tightness in the first place. Whether you are sore from training for a sport or from sitting in a bad position at your office desk, a regular yoga practice will help to alleviate this. There are even poses and stretches that can be done outside of yoga class when you feel a little tightness coming on.
7. Better Sleep
Practicing yoga can be very beneficial in aiding various sleep ailments. It will help to go to sleep faster and improve the quality of the sleep that you are getting. Yoga has a stimulatory effect on the nervous system, especially the brain. Certain yoga asanas will increase blood circulation to the sleep center in the brain which helps to regulate the sleep cycle. It will also decrease the amount of sleep needed by the body due to the elimination of toxins from the body. So if you are looking for a more restful night of sleep, look no further than yoga.
8. Detox the Body
Yoga aids in detoxing the body both physically and emotionally. The twisting moves and heavy sweating move toxins out of the organs and tissue cells of the body. Many people also feel a letting go of emotional toxicity when they begin to practice yoga. There is nothing better than yoga in my opinion to promote a clean mind and clean body.
9. Meet Like Minded People
Whether you are looking for a mate or just to surround yourself with more positive people in your life, a yoga class is a great place to meet like minded individuals. By connecting to your local yoga community you will open yourself to a whole new circle of healthy friends who share usually more interests than just yoga. And for a vacation you can’t beat meeting and hanging out with a bunch of yogis.
10. Mental Well Being
Yoga helps you to look and feel good which both help promote mental well being. It can help in fighting depression by boosting levels of a chemical in the brain which leads to a calm and relaxed mind. The chemical is GABA and low levels are associated with depression and other anxiety disorders. Practice strengthens a positive mental attitude and the serenity that it fosters keeps anxiety at bay.