1. Builds Muscle
It’s tough to compare yoga to lifting weights, as the two are completely different exercises. But despite what you may have heard, yoga is actually great for building and strengthening muscles. The combination of body-weight movements and complex, deep stretches help to lengthen muscles and increase muscles mass.
2. Reduces Pain & Inflammation
By stretching out your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and other parts of your body, you’ll become much “looser”. When your body is more loose, there is less inflammation in your joints and elsewhere throughout your body. And since inflammation is a major source of pain in your back, neck, legs, shoulders and more, yoga can help to reduce the pain by helping to eliminate inflammation.
3. Improves Posture
With countless hours spent sitting down at work or in front of a TV, we can all benefit from exercise that improves our posture. Yoga works to build and strengthen the muscles around your spine, giving your body the support it needs to stand up straight and balance your head and shoulders. This
4. Loosens Muscles
All the stretching that you do in yoga will help to contribute to loosening of your muscles. When your muscles are loose, you’re less likely to experience cramps, soreness and other types of pain associated with loose muscles. This means you’re at less risk for sports-related injuries such as pulled muscles, torn ligaments and more.
5. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Yoga focuses on breathing and stretching, which contributes to relaxation. During yoga, your mind is focused solely on the task at hand – giving you a much-needed break from your daily worries, racing thoughts and other issues that may cloud your everyday life. Over time, yoga will play an important role in helping you to remain calm and relaxed, helping to eliminate stress from your day even when you’re not practicing yoga.
6. Protects Your Joints
Yoga acts as a massage for your joints. The rotation and different movements of your joints that are part of regular yoga exercises will help to stretch and loosen your joints in ways that they’re not normally moved during your everyday routine. This will contribute to stronger, healthier joints and will reduce aches, pains and inflammation in key joints such as your knees.
7. Improves Circulation
Since yoga is a total body workout, it does wonder when it comes to circulation and getting your blood pumping. Strong circulation is crucial for a healthy heart and to keep you from feeling weak, tired and out of breath at even the slightest hint of physical activity.
8. Makes You Happier
Yoga decreases levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol, while increasing the levels of the happiness hormone, serotonin. Studies have also shown increased activity of “meditators” in the brain in subjects who practiced yoga; activity that has been associated with higher levels of happiness. With a consistent regimen of yoga, you’ll have no choice but to be happy!
9. Decreases Blood Pressure
Yoga can do wonders for decreasing your blood pressure – a key measurement when it comes to heart health. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, especially as you age, so anything you can do to lower it will have a great impact on your general health and well-being. Studies have shown a significant drop in blood pressure for those practicing yoga over a 3-month time frame compared to those who didn’t.
10. Improves Mental Focus & Clarity
One of the key mental components of yoga is focusing on the present. By focusing on the present, you prevent your mind from going backwards and focusing on feeling of guilt and regret; you also prevent it from getting anxious and thinking about future worries and other issues that have yet to happen. Studies have shown that yoga helps with focus by improving memory, reaction time and IQ in general.
11. Improve Blood Sugar Levels
Yoga helps to lower the blood sugar and bad cholesterol while helping to boost good cholesterol. Yoga also lowers cortisol (the stress-inducing hormone) and adrenaline, which help to improve weight loss and improve your body’s sensitivity level to insulin. Decreasing and regulating blood sugar goes a long way to preventing diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and more.
12. Improve Sleep
Since yoga helps to reduce the level of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, your body will naturally be in a more relaxed state. And with the added mental benefits of clearing your mind and reducing stress and anxiety, yoga has shown to be beneficial to helping you get more quality sleep.
13. Boosts Your Immune System
Yoga can help benefit your immune system by boosting its function. That means you’ll get sick less often – or not at all – as your body will have what it needs to fight off everyday bacteria and germs that are constantly floating around. This is especially important if you’re one of those people that’s always sick or always seems to catch whatever is “going around” throughout the year.
14. Benefits Relationships
Yoga helps to exude emotions of friendliness and compassion. You’ll be less likely to let the little things bother you and more likely to communicate your feelings in a calm, relaxed manner with the regular practice of yoga. Since you’ll be more focused on feelings of friendliness and compassion, you’ll be less likely to want to harm others emotionally, which can provide a big boost to any relationship.