While yoga has been around for thousands of years, the practice is being embraced among the mainstream now more than ever — and with good reason! As we learn more about all the potential benefits of yoga and the science behind it all, it becomes clear that this is something we should practice regularly. So, whether you’re a hardcore yogi, a weekend warrior, or just do some light living room yoga, there’s no doubt you can gain some amazing benefits from this ancient practice.
1. Increased Strength
Yoga is great for strength building, especially when it comes to your core. Holding those poses can really fire up the muscle fibers. If you’re looking to increase strength and improve muscle tone, yoga may be the key.
2. Better Flexibility
We need flexibility in our everyday lives to perform basic tasks and prevent injury. Whether it’s bending over to pick something up, reaching high up into a cabinet, or wrangling a squirmy toddler — being flexible has its benefits!
3. Improved Circulation
While it’s well-known that certain yoga poses help improve circulation and blood flow during practice, there are also benefits happening at the cellular level. Studies show that yoga can increase blood flow and hemoglobin levels which allows more oxygen to circulate.
4. Improved Athletic Performance and Recovery
There’s a reason yoga has been added to the roster in the NFL, NBA, and other pro sports. Coaches and athletes have seen and felt the benefits firsthand.
5. Reduced Pain and Inflammation
Incorporating regular yoga into your routine can be an effective pain management tool. Between calming deep breaths, improved circulation, and gentle stretching, yoga can help greatly reduce pain and inflammation. In fact — studies have shown the positive impact yoga can have on inflammatory biomarkers.
6. Injury Prevention
With all that increased strength and flexibility, improved circulation, athletic recovery, and lower inflammation, you’re sure to reap one of yoga’s biggest benefits — injury prevention! With countless anecdotes from athletes and favorable studies, yoga just might be the secret weapon when it comes to injury prevention.
7. Lower Blood Pressure
One of the most beneficial aspects of incorporating regular yoga into your routine can be its blood pressure-lowering capabilities. With nearly half of Americans experiencing hypertension – a rise in blood pressure that can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, yoga can literally be a lifesaver.
8. Better Sleep
Between relaxing the body and calming the mind, yoga can help set the stage for a good night’s rest. There are plenty of bedtime yoga routines specifically designed to drift you off to dreamland or you can just try some basic poses and breathwork. If you’re having trouble sleeping, instead of melatonin, maybe try a few asanas before bed.
9. Increased Energy
When you’re less stressed and well rested what tends to happen? You’ll have more energy, of course! Regular yoga practice can help keep us refreshed and ready to take on the day. Next time you’re eyeing an afternoon espresso, try a quick 15-minute yoga break instead, it may be just what you need.
10. Improved Mood
During yoga, the body releases several mood-boosting chemicals including serotonin — “the happy hormone,” and dopamine — “the feel-good hormone.” These levels can stay elevated for hours after your yoga session, leading to an improved mood throughout the day!
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