Yoga is a practice that can transform your life, from the inside out. Yoga isn’t only a physical workout; it is a holistic practice that strengthens the body, mind, and spirit. If you are considering implementing yoga into your workout routine, these incredible benefits just may convince you to immediately head over to the studio for your first class.
1. Decreases Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety relief is one of the top reasons people keep coming back to their yoga mat. Studies have shown that yoga can help in the decrease of cortisol, which is one of the main stress hormones. If you find that your life is putting an abundance of stress on your mind and body, or causing higher levels of anxiety than you can cope with, yoga may help you work through those feelings.
2. Increases Flexibility: Can’t touch your toes? Yoga can help. As you consistently dedicate yourself to a yoga routine, you will start to notice the changes in your body, and see yourself (literally) reach for new limits.
3. Strengthens and Tones the Body: People may associate yoga with stretching more than strengthening, but the practice requires a lot of body weight muscle work and balancing, which over time tones and builds your muscles.
4. Boosts Metabolism: Yoga has been found to help people improve their metabolism, which, with a dedicated practice, over time can help you lose weight.
5. Improves Posture: Say goodbye to slouchy shoulders. Yoga brings awareness to your body, helping you to keep your shoulders back and head up high.
6. Reduces Pain in the Neck and Back: If chronic pain in your neck or back is affecting your day to day life, yoga can help you stretch and strengthen your way to feeling better and mitigating the pain.
7. Decreases Headache Frequency: People who suffer from routine headaches have found that a consistent yoga practice can help lessen the frequency of headaches.
8. Encourages Better Sleep Quality: Yoga has been frequently studied as a tool for people suffering from sleep issues, including insomnia. If you find yourself unable to turn off your brain when your head hits the pillow, yoga may be the sleep aid you’ve been looking for.
9. Promotes Blood Circulation: Yoga helps to get your heart pumping, and as a result improves your circulation. Twisting poses also help to release oxygenated blood back into your system, and inversions encourage blood flow to your brain.
10. Improves Lung Capacity: Yoga without focused breathing isn’t yoga at all. The focus on breath, or pranayama, in a yoga class (in conjunction with the physical activity) can help to expand the capacity of your lungs.
11. Boosts Memory Function: Yoga can help you keep your brain functioning in top shape. Researchers found that regular yoga practice can improve memory performance.
12. Makes You Happier: A consistent yoga practice leads to an increase in serotonin, which is often referred to as the “happy hormone.” A yoga practice can help you burst through the blues and maintain a happier, healthier state of mind.
13. Encourages Mindfulness: Yoga is all about focusing on yourself, and being present in the moment. These central mindfulness concepts will start to show up not just on your mat, but in your day to day life as well.
The wonderful thing about yoga is that it is accessible. You don’t need to go to a studio to practice if it isn’t ideal for you—you have the flexibility to practice in your own home, either through videos or a self-guided flow. Even dedicating just 15 minutes a day to yoga will help you reap the incredible benefits of the practice. Whether you are a hardcore studio devotee or a at-home yogi, implementing yoga into your regular life will have tremendous benefits for your body, mind, and spirit.