Yoga’s well known for aiding flexibility. But did you know that it does a lot more than that? It’s not all about touching your toes (though that helps!) Here’s 10 health benefits of yoga you might not be familiar with.
1. Stress reduction
Exercise has long been proven to be a positive way of eliminating stress and none more so than yoga. Studies show that practicing yoga regularly can lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress levels. Yoga encourages you to focus your mind, providing you with some much-needed time to relax, unwind and forget about your worries and concerns.
2. Improved sleep
All exercise leaves our bodies in need of rest. As well as being an effective form of physical exercise, yoga’s focus on breathing calmly helps to declutter and still our minds, removing many of the niggling thoughts that can prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep!
3. Improved circulation
Yoga improves the circulation of blood through your body and lowers your blood pressure. It reduces bad cholesterol and promotes good cholesterol, helping ward off heart attacks and stress.
4. Pain relief
We all suffer from niggles from time to time. Whether it’s back pain, knee, neck or another type of discomfort. Yoga encourages full movement of your joints, keeping them mobile and supple. It also improves the strength of your muscles which support your joints, making aches and pains a thing of the past.
5. Improved brain functionRegular yoga sessions can help improve cognitive function Click To Tweet
A report in Runner’s World notes how yoga can sharpen the memory, boost brain function and improve reaction time post-workout.
6. Better weight management
An active yoga class can burn calories, tone and build strength in the same way as a gym workout. Even stiller, more chilled classes, which have no vigorous movement, can help with weight loss by reducing the levels of cortisol in your body, the hormone released when we are stressed, which is associated with weight gain.
7. Fewer injuries
One of the principle benefits of yoga is that it improves core stability and balance. Practicing yoga moves also helps strengthen our muscles and bones and increases our flexibility. This makes us more stable on our feet and less like to injure ourselves when we fall.
8. Heightened athletic performance
By making us more flexible, improving our balance, helping us with breathe better and improving our strength, participating in regular yoga sessions aids sporting performance. Many professional sportspeople now add yoga to their training plans.
9. Improved posture
Every day our spines are put under tremendous pressure and we do little to aid them. Poor posture can cause problems with the back, neck and other muscles and joints. The stretches we do during yoga sessions strengthen the spine, improve our core and force us to correct our alignment, improving our overall posture.
10. Increased happiness
Yoga makes you happy! It has been scientifically proven that a yoga class alters your brain chemistry for the good. Yoga releases GABA (short for gamma-amniobutryic acid) in your brain. These neurotransmitters produce a calming effect similar to that of alcohol without the related health issues and nasty hangover.
Take advantage of the unbeatable all-round workout of yoga by joining in a yoga class at Sweat Studios. Get in touch with the Sweat team and find out more about our no-nonsense approach to this incredibly healthy form of exercise.