10 Science-Backed Benefits of Yoga
1. Reduces stress
Yoga has been shown to be a great remedy for stress. In fact, in a recent national study, 85% of yoga practitioners reported that yoga helped relieve stress. The mind-body connection, focus on non-judgment, and breathwork combine to make a powerful weapon against stress hormones.
2. Increased muscle strength
Yoga might seem like mild exercise best suited for those that eat twigs and berries, but there are some extremely challenging yoga poses. Some are so challenging that only a few people have ever accomplished them. Yoga is an excellent way to increase your physical strength.
3. Enhances breathing and lung function
Regular practitioners of yoga are typically able to take larger breaths than the average person. They also tend to take fewer breaths per minute. Yogic breathing has even been used to treat those with lung problems resulting from congestive heart failure.
4. Your skin will look better
Did you know that stress taxes the skin? It's true. Yoga helps to balance the endocrine system, reducing levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. An excess of Cortisol can deplete skin of moisture, while accelerating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Enhances bone health
There are yoga postures that require you to support your weight in unusual ways. This stress is great for building strength and health in your bones. Yoga may help prevent osteoporosis.
6. Lowers blood pressure
Yoga improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. The various poses in yoga are believed to help force blood through the body. Three months of practicing yoga was shown to reduce systolic and diastolic pressure by 26 points and 15 points respectively.
7. Boosts immune function
Yoga movements increase the flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Lymph is loaded with white blood cells that help to fight infections.
8. Promotes a good night's sleep
Yoga relaxes your mind and body. Studies have demonstrated that regular yoga practitioners sleep more deeply. If you’re not sleeping as well as you’d like, consider a restorative yoga session or Yoga Nidra before bed.
9. Improves balance
Yoga has many poses that will target balance while improving your posture. In fact, our older friends and family members are less likely to suffer from falls if they practice yoga regularly.
10. Helps alleviate pain
Yoga has been shown to help reduce pain in those suffering from a variety of conditions, including arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Yoga is a complete system for developing one’s mind, spirit, and body. Most people are only familiar with the physical side of yoga, but there is much more to yoga than using your body.
There are many types of yoga, so it’s important to do your research and decide on the best option available to you. From Vinyasa to Ashtanga to Yin, there is a form of yoga just for you.
Give yoga a try and enjoy the many scientifically supported benefits it has to offer. Looking for a virtual yoga studio? Stay tuned for classes right here beginning later this spring.