Are you looking for a way to stay fit, improve flexibility and your overall fitness? Then yoga may be just what you’re looking for! If you’ve never tried yoga before, you could be missing out on the many benefits this practice can have on your health.
We’ve put together a list of some of the benefits yoga has to offer! Let’s get started!
Research Results on Yoga
Research has shown that yoga can help to improve aches and pains, boost your immune system, and your overall health. Some yoga skeptics have been pleasantly surprised when they conducted their own experiments with yoga. After doing yoga for a time, they began to realize they were feeling better! What a great surprise! If you’d like to better understand these health benefits, then keep reading!
Top 10 Benefits of Yoga
1). Improves Flexibility
Let’s face it, we could all stand to be a little more flexible. There’s nothing worse for our body than sitting all day hunched over a computer keyboard. Instead, yoga can open up and release muscles and other tissues, while increasing flexibility.
For instance, at your first yoga class, you may not even be able to bed over and touch your toes. That’s OK. If you continue practicing yoga, over time you’ll find muscles loosening and your flexibility improving. You’ll eventually be able to comfortably bend over and touch your toes with no strain or pain. Stay with it long enough, and yoga can even help you achieve more.
In the beginning, it’s common to experience some aches and pains. This is due to tight muscles in the hips, tight knee joints, and more. If you continue with yoga, then this will all be relieved. But wait, there’s more!
2). Build Strong Muscles
As your muscles become more flexible, you’ll find that they also become stronger as you do yoga on a regular basis. Strong muscles can help keep back pain at bay, protect from arthritis, prevent falling, and more.
As you gain strength doing yoga, you also improve flexibility. These two go hand-in-hand.
3). Protects Your Spine
Yoga is also great for protecting your spine. The reason is that spinal disks (shock absorbers between the vertebrae) can herniate, which leads to nerve compression. This is a painful condition; however, your body will still want to move to find a way to ease the pain and help disks recover.
Think of it this way—the only way your back will heal is if you’re moving. The reason is that this is how the muscles receive their nutrients, which allow them to heal.
Yoga helps keep your back flexible, and supple. This way you can even prevent back issues such as herniated disks, and more.
4). Improves Blood Flow
In order for muscles to receive the nutrients they need to heal you need to have sufficient blood flow. Yoga is a great way to get your blood moving, which improves your overall blood flow. This is because yoga poses cause you to move in ways that work on the circulatory system.
For instance, poses that cause you to twist can remove venous blood from internal organs, while allowing oxygen-rich blood to flow into replace it. Inverted poses, such as a headstand, also work to bring venous blood from the legs and pelvis back to the heart. From there, it can flow through the lunds and become oxygenated.
This is an excellent way to relieve swelling in the legs, help with kidney issues, and more. Not only that, but yoga has also been shown to increase hemoglobin and red blood cells, which increase oxygenation of body tissues. It also works to thin the blood, so you’ll have a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
5). Improves Posture
Yoga can also work to improve your posture. Consider your head—it’s like a heavy bowling ball sitting on your neck. If not balanced in the right way, the muscles of your neck and back aren’t able to hold your head correctly, which can lead to posture issues. Plus, muscles become strained and fatigued.
Poor posture can cause many problems for your neck, back, muscles and joints. For instance, when you hung over the computer keyboard, your body tries to compensate for this by flattening the normal curves in the neck and lower back. This can lead to pain, arthritis and more.
6). Keep Cartilage and Joints from Breaking Down
When you practice yoga, your joints will be put through a full range of motion. Not only does this increase flexibility and strength, but it can help prevent degenerative health issues such as arthritis.
When not used, cartilage can begin to break down. Think of cartilage as being similar to a sponge. That sponge can only soak up water after it’s been squeezed out. Then it has room for new water. In the same, the cartilage needs to be “squeezed and soaked” in order to receive the right nutrients to keep it healthy. Otherwise, the cartilage will be worn out and could lead to painful degenerative health issues.
7). Drains Lymph & Increases Immunity
Yoga also works to drain lymph fluids and increase immunity through contraction and stretching of muscles, and more. When your body contracts and stretches, your organs also move around. Through moving from one yoga posture to the next, your body is able to increase the drainage of lymph. This works to improve the lymphatic system, destroy harmful cells, and rid the body of toxic waste.
8). Decreases Your Blood Pressure
Yoga is also a great way to decrease your blood pressure if you have hypertension. In fact, a study by the British medical journal The Lancet, showed that practicing yoga on a regular basis worked better to lower blood pressure than lying on the couch.
9). Makes You Feel Happy
Yoga has also been shown to make you feel happier! Consistent yoga practice has been shown to improve symptoms of depression by increasing serotonin, while decreasing monoamine oxidase, as well as cortisol. The result is that you feel better and happier because symptoms of depression are decreased with regular yoga practice.
10). Helps Gain Focus
Yoga can also help you focus more on the present. Studies have shown that yoga can help improve yoga and IQ scores! You may develop more focus at work, find it easier to solve problems, and more.
With all of these benefits, why not give yoga a try today? You’ll not only be happier, but you’ll be healthier in all ways from regular yoga practice!