Benefits of Yoga

When you think of yoga, you probably imagine someone holding one serene pose after another. It looks like a good way to relax, but the many benefits of practicing yoga may surprise you. Yoga can improve the health and function of every system in your body without requiring a huge time commitment or any expensive equipment. Yoga can be practiced indoors or out, at the gym or at the beach, alone or with a group. You don’t even need shoes!

Not surprisingly, some of the first and most noticeable effects of yoga are improved flexibility, strength, and balance. After you spend some time practicing yoga, you will begin to notice your muscles loosening and your joints becoming more flexible. Your balance will improve as your core grows stronger, making it easier and easier to hold ever more challenging positions.

Stronger, leaner muscles and better balance naturally lead to improved posture. We spend so much time bending over phones, tablets, and laptops that we are constantly straining our necks. Yoga encourages you to hold your spine in alignment, giving you better posture and relieving stress on your neck and back.

While yoga can look easy, it’s actually a highly effective workout. Holding poses and moving from one pose to another puts your muscles through an intense workout that leads to weight loss and improved muscle tone. Because the exercise is weight bearing, it actually strengthens your bones, too. Increased blood flow improves cardio and circulatory health, lowers blood pressure, and even helps you sleep better. Poses that open up your chest allow you to breathe deeper for improved respiration.

Yoga gives more than just your muscles a workout. It also encourages your joints to experience a greater range of motion, making them less susceptible to arthritis and other joint issues. These benefits even extend to the intervertebral discs in your spine, helping to keep them supple and healthy.

If you’re still not convinced, consider this: Practicing yoga increases your energy and vitality levels. The twisting and bending movements help to ease constipation and may improve digestive health overall. Taking the time to invest in your own well being with yoga tends to lead toward other healthy decisions, such as a cleaner diet and better self care.

Considering yoga as a philosophy and lifestyle change rather than a form of exercise may help you start on this journey to improved health and well being!