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10 Health Benefits of Yoga

Posted by Shannon Earwood on

Take a moment to breathe...take a moment to rest...take a moment to bring yourself back to the here and now.

 Starting and maintaining a yoga practice is a wonderful way to keep the mind in shape as well as the body.

Maybe you’re beginner, or maybe you’ve never even heard of yoga. Whatever your experience, here are 10 ways yoga can improve health and well being.

Namaste.

 

 

  1. Improves Your Flexibility

 

Inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue can cause problems with the spine, knee joints, hip joints, posture, and various other parts of the body. Tight muscles can affect your alignment leading to various physical problems. Improving your flexibility can help you to create better posture and cure, as well as, prevent fewer aches and pains. If you’re new to yoga, you may not be able to do a backbend, or even touch your toes at first, but in time you will find that your flexibility will increase. If you commit to it, you will find that seemingly impossible poses will become possible.

 

  1. Builds Muscle Strength

 

There’s no doubt that strong muscles look good, but what’s even better is that they protect us from injury. They also help to prevent conditions like chronic back pain and arthritis. With yoga, you balance flexibility and strength building. Sometimes in rigid workout routines you sacrifice flexibility for strength. Yoga gives you the best of both worlds.

 

  1. Perfects Your Posture

 

Poor posture can cause a multitude of problems. It can affect your back, neck, joints, and other muscles. Improper posture can cause changes to normal curves of your neck and back. This can cause pain, and, sometimes, degenerative arthritis of the spine.

 

  1. Increases Bone Health

 

It has been proven that weight-bearing types of exercises will strengthen bones. In addition, it also helps keep osteoporosis at bay. Many yoga poses are weight-bearing in nature. Also, yoga has been shown to lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) which may help keep calcium in the bones.

 

  1. Increases Blood Flow

 

Yoga gets more oxygen to the cells which will definitely work better as a result. It can increase levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells which transport oxygen to the tissues. Inverted poses are especially helpful because they use gravity help to stimulate circulation.

 

  1. Boosts Immunity

 

The movements of the body while practicing yoga help to increase the drainage of lymph (a fluid rich with immune cells). This promotes a stronger lymphatic system. A stronger lymphatic system means a stronger ability to fight infections, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of waste products of cellular functioning.

 

    7.  Regulates Adrenal Glands

As mentioned earlier, yoga can decrease cortisol levels. The adrenals glands are what secrete cortisol. Cortisol is typically released in response to an during stressful event, and this will momentarily boost the immune system. Sometimes your cortisol may stay in the higher range even after the crisis has passed. This will then have the opposite effect and decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. High cortisol levels have been connected to depression, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis.

 

  1. Promotes Relaxation

Yoga lowers breathing rates, heart rates, increases blood flow, and decreases blood pressure. It increases mindfulness which promotes relaxation by encouraging you to slow your breath and focus on the present.

  

  1. Peace of Mind

Stress is the culprit of so many health problems such as high blood pressure, insomnia, heart attacks, migraines, and so much more.  Yoga helps the mind slow down.  When the mind slows down it eases the anger, fear, and frustration that can cause stress.   Reduction in stress can help you live longer, healthier, and more peacefully.

 

  1. Enhances Inner Strength

The discipline that develops from regular yoga practice can be used to change other things in your life.  Want to be healthier, eat better, quit bad habits?  Committing to a consistent yoga practice may enable you to make more positive changes in your life that you had trouble accomplishing before.

Before you've practiced, the theory is useless. After you've practiced, the theory is obvious. -David Williams

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