Do you really need an excuse to practice the stress-relieving, flexibility-improving, general greatness that is yoga? This centuries-old practice has taken on incredible life in the West and it seems if you aren’t doing yoga, you are the odd one out. I personally believe health benefits of yoga are not just short term, they are long term. Your negative energy is channelized into positive energy when you start practicing yoga. Recently we came across a study that proves that aromas also help in changing your moods and altering your emotions. Fortunately, it’s never too late to pick up a new and healthy habit. If you need a reason to practice yoga, here are 10.
Yoga increases range of motion, mobility, and general flexibility. This doesn’t only make daily activities easier, it can alsohelp reduce aches and pains associated with inactivity or a rigorous fitness training program. As the Yoga Health Foundation reports, yoga can actually increase elasticity in your muscles and connective tissues.
2. Breath Consciousness
We breathe all day, every day, for as long as we live (life kind of depends on it). Yoga brings awareness breathing and can help you recognize the power associated with breath control and consciousness. Many ancient meditation practices begin and end with breath control.
3. Reduced Stress
Yoga, like many forms of exercise, can help reduce stress. It combines fitness, meditation and deep breathing to give you a multi-pronged approach to stress relief.
4. Muscle Definition and Strength
Yoga is one of the best body weight exercises you can do. It helps build strong muscles without the expensive and potentially-dangerous equipment.
5. Improved Circulation
As you stretch and work all of the muscles involved in the various yoga poses, you are helping encourage healthy blood circulation. Oxygenated blood rushes to all of your cells more efficiently when you are in good shape.
6. Pain Relief
Research has linked yoga practice with a reduction in pain for people suffering with arthritis, cancer, MS, auto-immune diseases and other chronic pain conditions.
7. Profound Inner Peace
Yoga is meditation in motion. It focuses your attention on the here-and-now, helping to create a more balanced mind-body-spirit connection.
8. Boost Immunity
A recent Norwegian study found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. And it doesn’t take long: The researchers believe the changes occurred while participants were still on the mat, and they were significantly greater than a control group who went on a nature hike while listening to soothing music. Yoga also helps to boost immunity by simply increasing overall health.
9. Boost Sexual Performance
Studies have found that 12 weeks of yoga can improve sexual desire, arousal, performance, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction for both men and women. How? Physically, yoga increases blood flow into the genital area, which is important for arousal and erections, says Bleier, and strengthens the “moola bandha,” or pelvic floor muscles. Mentally, the breathing and mind control involved with the practice can also improve performance.
10. Sleep Better
Researchers from Harvard found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia. And another study found that twice-weekly yoga sessions helped cancer survivors sleep better and feel less fatigued. This can be attributed to yoga’s ability to help people deal with stress, says Bleier. “Sleep issues are like anxiety.
Your head can’t stop spinning, you don’t know how to relax,” he says. “Breathing and mental exercises allow the mind to slow down, so you’re going to start to see yourself sleep better.” Each yoga practitioner seems to have their own personal reasons for loving the practice. As you learn and grow through yoga, you’ll no doubt develop your own. If you already love yoga, tell us why in the comments!
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