Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the mind and body. Yoga involves breathing exercises, meditation, and poses that are designed to promote relaxation and lower stress levels. Yoga comes with lots of awesome health benefits that you can score from daily practice. Let’s look at a few of the most impressive ones that are worth a pat on the back:
1. Yoga can reduce chronic pain
Long-term pain can be extremely debilitating to your quality of life. According to scientists, it can contribute to depression. However, numerous studies have found yoga to be an extremely effective treatment for chronic pain, particularly for people with chronic lower back pain.
According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who have chronic lower-back pain experience better function and less pain after three months of weekly classes. But if you want to try this activity for your chronic pain, first consult your pain doctor.
2. Yoga can reduce your risk of heart disease
Heart health is more important than you may think. According to recent research from the American Heart Association, heart attacks, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes are extremely common conditions among younger people, especially women.
However, it turns out that yoga might help reduce your risk. According to a review of studies published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, doing yoga can help just as much as usual exercise, such as brisk walking.
Scientists analyzed different types of yoga, both athletic and more gentle flows, as well as various people with different medical conditions. They found that people who did yoga reduced their blood pressure by five points and lowered bad cholesterol levels by 12 points.
3. Yoga can reduce stress and improve sleep
Sleep is vital to both your mental physical health. It helps your body recover and improve your energy levels. If you have sleeping issues, yoga could be your option.
A recent national survey from the NCCIH has found that over 55 percent of yogis had improved sleep, and more than 85 percent reported they were less stressed. This might be due to the breathing practices in yoga, which can help you relax and reduce tension after a crazy stressful day.
4. Yoga can improve your mental health
Any physical activity is connected with lowering symptoms of depression, and yoga is on the list. According to multiple studies published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, people with depression, schizophrenia, sleep issues, and other mental health disorders can all benefit from doing yoga.
Yoga also possesses an immediate mood-boosting effect. There is a wide range of asanas in yoga that help fight depression and mood issues. A good connection between body and mind is an effective way to heal from mental problems.
5. Yoga can ease your asthma symptoms
Studies have shown that yoga can be a good additional treatment option for relieving asthma symptoms. According to a small study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine that looked at 57 adults with mild to moderate asthma, people who added a yoga routine to their regimen for eight weeks sharply reduced their symptoms and needed to use medication less often. This could be due to breathing practices that are connected with yoga.
6. Yoga can promote weight loss
If you’ve thought that yoga isn’t a good way to lose extra weight, it’s time to change your opinion. Yoga can be especially effective due to the aerobic tendencies which are thought to be effective in lowering that number on the scale.
According to a recent study on overweight women, those who practiced yoga didn't bust out any hard-core postures or speedy flows. Scientists said the classes were focused on relaxation and stress reduction. But this group lost significantly more extra weight than the group of women who did. So, this just goes to show that it's not always about going hard-core all the time.
7. Yoga greatly affects your mood
The way you think and act every day greatly impacts your mood and how you feel about yourself. That is why it's essential to put yourself in a safe space where you don't feel judged and can be in tune with your thoughts. And yoga is the place for that.
By setting intentions at the beginning of class and focusing on the present moment, you can get more aware of negative thought patterns as they increase. By understanding your negative thoughts and replacing them with any new activity, like controlled breathing and mindful movement, you can decrease the stress that produces negative thoughts.
8. Yoga can make you better at other workouts
Regular yoga classes can help you perform better. Repeating asanas gives more strength and adaptability, which allows your muscles to work more effectively. Doing yoga every day might also help increase your performance in other exercise modalities.
9. Yoga can make you more creative
Experts assume that by practicing the mindfulness components of yoga on a regular basis, like meditation, mantra, and deep breathing techniques, it’s possible to stimulate and raise alpha brain waves. These are the happy calm brain waves. Through repetition of these mind-body techniques, you can alter the brain's architecture that taps into your place of connection and creativity.
10. Yoga improves flexibility and mobility
This benefit is actually obvious, however, it's worth mentioning since you may not have been able to touch your toes or connect your hands behind your back before doing yoga. Since yoga involves a wide variety of postures that are performed to boost flexibility and build muscle mass, it also retrains our deep connective tissue.
Stress and anxiety can weaken our tissues in different ways. However, yoga focuses on whole-body movement and awareness, so you often use the poses to release and lengthen those chronically tight and weakened regions.
Yoga not only gives you more flexibility on the outside, it can also help strengthen your body inside. You simply need consistent practice.