Yoga is an ancient discipline, steeped in tradition and the wisdom of the ages but it offers some incredibly up-to-date health benefits. Yoga helps your health in multiple ways, from improving strength and flexibility to reducing anxiety, helping improve digestion and helping you to lose weight.
Yoga is a powerful activity that makes you feel and look better, and your body work better, too. Yoga has proven health benefits from treating chronic pain to providing better sleep. Want to know more about why yoga is such a health wonder? Read our list of 12 yoga health benefits and then go out and find your place on the mat.
1) Yoga Improves Flexibility
When you first start doing yoga you may wonder how you will ever manage to contort your body into those intricate positions, and be amazed that anyone can do it. But after you have been practicing for some time it becomes easier. Your body becomes more flexible. Your joints loosen. You become more supple and you find it easier to get into the positions that were once impossible. And flexibility benefits your life in other ways apart from on the yoga mat. You reduce your risk of back pain and poor posture, and help to improve your form in other sports like running.
2) Yoga Boosts Your Mood
Yoga may even be able to make you happier. Obviously it won’t resolve all your problems but yoga has been proven to help relieve symptoms of depression and increase serotonin levels. Yoga makes you feel happier – you know that lovely sense of peace you get when you come from the mat? Yoga does this.
3) Yoga Builds Muscle Strength
When you regularly practice yoga you are building your muscles so that you protect yourself from chronic pain, and you help yourself to a stronger frame that is also flexible.
4) Yoga Helps Protect Bones
Doing yoga means you are putting weight on your bones, which helps to strengthen them and therefore to ward off illnesses like arthritis. Many postures require you to put a lot of weight onto your arms or your legs, and this is linked to improve bone density. You are less likely to suffer from fractures later in life.
5) Yoga Gives You Great Posture
Poor posture can result in many different health problems from fatigue to back pain. Yoga actively helps you improve your posture. You are at greater risk of joint problems with poor posture, and it is more likely you will suffer from arthritis as you get older.
6) Yoga Effectively Connects Your Body
Yoga is more than just a list of health benefits that stand alone. Yoga is about connecting body and mind, breath and muscles. It is more than a fitness activity. Yoga helps to improve your wellbeing by connecting the systems in your body that allow you to live more healthily. Since everything is connected, yoga brings this home in a direct way.
7) Yoga Helps Improve Your Joints
Your joints are under a great deal of pressure throughout the day and it is a good idea to take them through a complete range of motion in order to prevent degeneration in the joints and conditions like arthritis.
8) Yoga Improves Your Focus
Yoga helps you to focus on the present and be mindful in the moment. This in turn helps you to improve your coordination, your memory, and your IQ. When you have somehow mastered the art of focusing on the moment you are better able to handle problems and stress is less likely to be a problem in your life.
9) Yoga Protects Your Spine
When you practice yoga you really give your spine some well-needed protection. Yoga helps to keep the spinal discs moving and keeps creating strength and flow between the discs, resulting in discs that are readily supplied with nutrients.
10) Yoga Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, look at how yoga can be a natural solution to your problem. There have been several studies that show how yoga can reduce blood pressure after months of practice. It is worth a try if you suffer from high blood pressure, which can be a killer if left unchecked.
11) Yoga Increases Blood Flow
Yoga also helps the blood flow more effectively around the body. It really does affect your circulation, which makes it easier for oxygen to reach your cells and organs. Better blood flow helps all sorts of medical conditions, including swelling in the legs and kidney problems.
12) Yoga May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
If you suffer from diabetes, yoga can be great for your condition as it helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. It also helps to maintain sensitivity to insulin and also encourages weight loss in people with diabetes, which are all good reasons to give it a try.