Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the mind and body in a number of exercises and poses. Thus, it comes with an array of mental and physical benefits for your health. If you don't do it already, here's a list of reasons why you need to start doing yoga today.
Decreases Stress & Anxiety
Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation. This is because it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. By decreasing this hormone in your body, you are decreasing your levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Overtime, it can truly help improve your quality of life, cope with anxiety disorders, and other aspects of mental health tremendously. You'll notice reduced symptoms since yoga emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment, while finding a sense of peace and an increased mood.
Improves Breathing & Sleep
There's actually a yogic breathing called pranayama, which focuses on controlling the breath through breathing exercises and techniques. Most types of yoga incorporate these breathing exercises, hence practicing yoga could help improve breathing. Just a few weeks of learning these breathing exercises can significantly increase your vital capacity, which is especially important for those with lung disease, heart problems, and asthma. Improving your breathing can then help build endurance, optimizing your performance and keep your lungs and heart healthy. On the other hand, yoga can also improve your quality of sleep. It has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Therefore you'll fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and feel more well-rested in the morning. You can track your sleep patterns with a smartwatch for maximum results.
Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, is a concept that encourages being present in the moment while eating. So if you want to start eating healthier, the trick may be to start doing yoga first. You'll pay closer attention to the taste, smell, and texture of your food and noticing any thoughts, feelings, or sensations you experience while eating. This promotes healthy eating habits in the end that helps control blood sugar and increase weight loss. Conversely, yoga can be used to treat eating disorder symptoms and any preoccupation with food. This includes both binge eating or the opposite, decreasing episodes and aiding towards healthier habits. How about that?
Increases Strength, Flexibility, & Balance
Besides mental benefits, many people add yoga to their fitness routine to improve flexibility and balance. It optimizes this performance through the use of specific poses, as doing it consistently will increase your ability by several measures. Practicing yoga each day can also help improve balance and mobility in older adults or those with restrictions, which could make a big difference over time. In addition to improving flexibility, yoga is a great addition to an exercise routine for its strength-building benefits. There are specific poses in yoga that are designed to increase strength and build muscle, so you'll see an increase in upper body strength, endurance, and weight loss. It's strongly encouraged to practice yoga in combination with a regular exercise routine for the most effective results.
Reduces Inflammation & Pain
That's right - studies have shown that people who practiced yoga had lower levels of inflammatory markers and can help prevent pro-inflammatory diseases. This then has a great effect on many diseases and disorders. For example, yoga improves heart health by reducing risks for heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes, along with lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. On the other hand, yoga can help decrease pain and improve physical function in participants with osteoarthritis, cancer, migraines, and any chronic pain. Yoga can truly improve your quality of life and may be used as an adjunct therapy for many conditions.