Yoga tends to be one of the most popular exercises all over the world. Regular yoga practice can significantly improve your mental and physical condition. Moreover, you can do yoga wherever you want, at home, at the gym, in the park, and even in the car. If you still don’t practice, we gathered these nine health benefits of yoga you shouldn’t neglect.
1. Yoga improves breathing
Breathing problems are quite common especially for people who live in large polluted cities. Yoga helps open lungs and this results in better oxygen supply. This benefit can also help smokers clear their lungs that will significantly reduce cough and breathlessness. Moreover, regular practice will strengthen the diaphragm that is also useful for singers. In addition, breathing practice can help fall asleep. You can practice mindful breathing in bed and this will calm you down, reduce heart rate, and help you fall asleep much easier.
2. Yoga copes with stress
Yoga boosts the production of serotonin and endorphins that provide a feeling of psychological comfort. You will be both relaxed and concentrated. During yoga practice, you breathe properly and relieve tension in the muscles, which leads to a feeling of calm and peace.
The relaxation abilities of yoga decrease the level of cortisol in your blood. The hormone cortisol contributes to the development of stress reactions. That’s why a decrease in its content in the blood makes us calmer and more resistant to external irritating factors. The maximum amount of cortisol in the body usually releases in the morning. By evening, its amount usually reduces. If you constantly feel stressed, try to do yoga in the morning when you are most affected by cortisol.
3. Yoga relieves back and neck pain
Yoga provides you with a whole range of exercises that have a relaxing and tonic effect on your body. Asanas (postures) strengthen torso muscles, improve flexibility, and lengthen the spine. This creates space between the vertebrae, minimizes pressure on the discs, and restores the spine in general. That’s why it is recommended to do yoga is you suffer from beck and neck pain. Moreover, yoga helps reduce chronic pain in the lower back, which can affect you with age.
4. Yoga reduces joint stiffness
Flexibility tends to be one of the most important abilities of the human body. It provides us with muscle elasticity, ligament strength, and joint mobility. If a person has a sedentary lifestyle, he or she usually loses flexibility. However, this condition is also associated with aging processes.
As long as the spine and joints are flexible, the person feels young and strong. But as soon as the flexibility disappears, the person becomes weak and old. The range of motion in your joints contributes to easy movement and the ability to fully enjoy life. You should also know that regular yoga practice will help not only maintain flexibility but also develop it at any age.
5. Yoga improves posture
Poor posture, as well as back pain and joint stiffness, is also a common problem in people, who maintain a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting all day computers or other working tools makes our backs to take an unnatural position that causes spine curvature and discomfort. Moreover, poor posture makes your chest closed that interferes with the normal breathing process.
Regular yoga classes will help restore correct posture in a matter of months. You should know that yoga has a strengthening effect on muscle corset that supports the spine. Moreover, when your posture improves, it results in more confident and comfortable gait.
6. Yoga boosts sex desire
If you are often not in the mood to have sex or felt excited but because of tiredness, wanted to sleep, yoga can help you increase your sexual desire. Some studies show that more than a third of women admit that fatigue negatively affects their sexual activity. However, regular yoga practice can significantly improve sleep quality. So if you practice yoga, you have a better sleep that results in more frequent sex.
Both sex and yoga help achieve a new and focus on physical sensations. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, the pelvic muscles are constantly in a squeezed position. Certain yoga poses, like Upavistha Konasana, increase blood flow to the pelvis. Moreover, there are special exercises in yoga that help strengthen pelvic muscles. They have a similar effect to Kegel exercises.
7. Yoga helps lose weight
If you had gained a few extra pounds, you can help you get rid of them. There are several asanas that are aimed at improving the digestive tract and result in accelerating metabolism. Despite the fact that yoga can’t be considered a quick method of losing weight, a systematic yoga practice promotes gradual and healthy weight loss.
Yoga helps to control weight by normalizing the level of cortisol, a hormone that causes a severe appetite under the influence of stress. You should also know that yoga helps get rid of bad eating habits. It also improves digestion and stimulates the elimination of toxins from the body.
8. Yoga strengthens muscles
Like any other exercise, yoga practice can strengthen your muscles. When you do yoga every day (or, at least, several times a week) you keep your muscles in tone. Over time, you will notice that the muscle endurance increased and it becomes easier for you to perform more complicated asanas.
You should also know that the main difference between yoga and ordinary exercising is the conscious performance of movements. Moreover, even the tensest positions usually don’t cause muscle cramps. The yoga practice gradually lengthens the ligaments and tone the muscles that play an essential role in shaping a slender figure.
9. Yoga eases pain during periods
Many women of reproductive age suffer from severe cramps during menstruation. Despite the fact that in many cases they can be eliminated with OTC painkillers, there is one more effective and healthy way to ease the pain. Yoga improves blood circulation and relaxes cramping muscles.
Moreover, mild physical exercises like yoga boost the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers. Endorphins are “feel-good” chemicals that can improve your mood during periods and reliever menstrual cramps. However, it important to be careful during exercising and pay much attention to your well-being.