Health Benefits of Yoga

With many health benefits of yoga available, there is much to consider in the various long-term workout schedules taken on through yoga. It is a beneficial therapy that is recommended by physicians, neuroscientists, psychologists, and many other doctors. Helping with physiological and mental health together, yoga benefits many of your systems. It integrates a physical workout and meditation, providing positive effects mentally and physically together. 

It is also beneficial that you can practice yoga at home. You don’t need to join a gym or enter a class, worry about your mastery of the practice, or your appearance within a large group of people. Classes can be streamed in your online television apps or on your computer, without the need to feel any concern about how you perform yoga in front of a class teacher and other members. 

Additionally, there are many benefits to gain from the practice of yoga in all areas of your life. See these key benefits… 

1. Pain Reliever

Yoga can help relieve some chronic pain. Some researchers evaluated yoga as a self-care exercise to treat chronic neck pain. Results shows that it reduced that pain by more than half. Additional pain resolutions include rheumatoid arthritis and joint pains as well. Even more, the relief of these pains can help resolve anxiety and depression.

2. Happy Day

Scientists have studied how yoga practices and meditation affect the brain. Studies have shown that meditation increase activity associated with positive moods and improved emotions. So, meditating regularly may help you manage life’s ups and downs easily and feel happier in your daily life.

3. Stay Sharp

Yoga poses and meditation all train you to fine-tune your attention, by syncing your breathing with movement and also by focusing on the subtleties of the breath. You can also let go of distracting thoughts. Studies have shown that yoga practices like these can help your brain work better. Researchers have shown that early stages of yoga practices also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Indeed, research has shown that parts of the cerebral cortex—an area of the brain associated with cognitive processing that becomes thinner with age—tend to be thicker in long-term meditators, suggesting that meditation could be a factor in preventing age-related thinning.

4. Easy Rest

Today, our bodies are often over-stimulated and revved up, making it so hard to sleep easily and consistently. Studies have been completed on yoga for psychiatric conditions and found promising evidence that it can be helpful for treating sleep disorders. Asana can stretch and relax your muscles; breathing exercises can slow your heart rate to help prepare you for sleep; and regular meditation can keep you from getting tangled up in the worries that keep you from drifting off.

5. Better Sex

Some studies of women who took part in yoga courses reported improvements in several areas of sexuality, including desire, orgasm, and overall satisfaction. Yoga is an exercise that increases blood flow and circulation throughout the body, including the genitals. Some researchers think yoga may also boost libido by helping practitioners feel more in tune with their bodies.

6. Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation commonly seems to be a response that kicks in after receiving a bang on the surface. But increasing evidence shows that the body’s inflammatory response can also be triggered chronically by factors including stress and a sedentary lifestyle. And a chronic state of inflammation can raise your risk for disease.  A research study eventually found that a group of regular yoga practitioners had much lower blood levels of an inflammation-promoting immune cell called IL-6. It also showed lower inflammatory responses to stress, pointing to the conclusion that the benefits of a regular yoga practice compound over time.

7. Your Spine on Yoga

Researchers compared the spines of some yoga teachers with those of healthy, similar-aged volunteers. The yoga teachers’ spines showed less evidence of age degeneration. Researchers figure it has to do with the nutrition of the spine. Nutrients come from blood vessels just outside the spinal disks. So, activities during yoga can help push more nutrients through this outer layer into the disks, keeping them healthier.

8. Improved Overall Health

Heart disease is the leading killer of all Americans, influenced by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and a sedentary lifestyle. Luckily, all of these factors can be reduced by yoga, shown by many past studies proving that yoga and meditation help reduce these major risk factors for heart disease. Some greater studies covered subjects who participated in twice-weekly sessions of various types of yoga to significantly cut the frequency of episodes of atrial fibrillation, a serious heart-rhythm disorder that increases the risk of strokes and can lead to heart failure. With all of these reductions, the heart can become much healthier overall. Even more, with all this improved health, it helps to serve with weight maintenance and immunity along with all overall health and wellness.

9. Joint and Back Support

By gently taking joints—ankles, knees, hips, shoulders—through their range of motion, yoga helps keep them lubricated, and may help keep you moving freely in athletic and everyday pursuits as you age. Many people also suffer from lower back pain, with no one treatment for all. But there’s good evidence that yoga can help resolve certain types of back troubles. Many studies showed that some with back problems were taught yoga poses; the others took a stretching class or were given a self-care book. Results showed those who took yoga and stretching classes reported less pain and better functioning, while those who practiced yoga showed significantly less disability and pain.

10. Menopausal Support

Many women have turned to yoga to help them cope with the symptoms of menopause, from hot flashes to sleep disturbances to mood swings. A recent analysis of the most rigorous studies of yoga and menopause found evidence that yoga—which included asana and meditation—helps with the psychological symptoms of menopause, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Compared with women who did passive stretching, yoga greatly reduced insomnia. Other, more preliminary research has suggested that yoga may also help to reduce hot flashes and memory problems.

11. Emotional Rescue

Recent studies suggest that exercise is linked with increased levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), associated with positive mood and a sense of well-being. Yoga can also increase the levels of this chemical in the brain, even more than walking, according to a study. In another study, women who experienced emotional distress took part in two 90-minute yoga classes a week. And, by the end of the study those participants reported reduced anxiety scores in addition to overall well-being went up.

12. Power Source

If you’ve felt the thrill of discovering you can hold poses for longer periods, you’ve experienced how yoga strengthens your muscles. Standing poses, inversions, and other asanas challenge muscles to lift and move the weight of your body. Your muscles respond by growing new fibers, so that they become thicker and stronger, helping to improve your strength and overall power and maintaining your fitness and function throughout your lifetime.

13. Balancing Act

As you grow older, you spend more time driving and sitting at a desk than in activities that reduce your balance. So, you lose touch with the body’s magical ability to teeter back and forth and remain upright. Balance poses are a core part of yoga practice, and they’re even more important for older adults. And, better balance is regained, and can even be lifesaving upon preventing future falls in older adults as more yoga is practiced regularly.

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