10 Lesser-Known Benefits of Yoga
By: Joe Fleming, President, Vive Health
Yoga has already earned the reputation as a practice which ticks every box if you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle. It’s a great cardio workout, trains the body into a higher plane of flexibility, and can provide a shortcut towards finding a deeper self. The reality is, however, that yoga does even more than that.
Check out the following list to discover the various lesser-known ways in which this discipline touches on the mind, the body, and the soul all at once.
- Improve Your Immune System
There is a lot of evidence which links yoga to a stronger immune system. The theories as to why this improvement takes place include the reduction of blood pressure, a calmer heart rate, and the muscle relaxation properties which follow these dynamic sessions. Furthermore, studies have shown that stress negatively impacts the immunity cells themselves, which means that the soothing mental effects of yoga are allowing the body to deal with any issues without interruption. Just as it was always designed to do.
- Focus on the Now
Just like meditation, yoga centers your attention away from the past or the future and rather connects you to the present moment. This has been proven to develop peace and happiness within its students, by curbing any anxious or depressing thoughts. In fact, this works so well that many people start practicing yoga for this very reason.
- Meet New People
The popularity of yoga has only continued to skyrocket over the last few years, and in turn, this has become a very common (and desirable) topic of conversation. And with so many available classes and loving spaces to explore, the potential amount of people you can chat to is virtually endless! You are also most likely to meet like-minded individuals who are fascinated with self-growth and want nothing more than to live a life free from negativity.
- Get Help With Arthritis
Research has suggested that yoga can have a very positive outcome for those living with arthritis. This is not surprising, as the practice is lauded for its gentle low-impact movements on the joints, the ideal amount of motion for arthritis sufferers who need to loosen up their stiffness. Hot yoga classes, in particular, can reduce the pain of inflammation while also helping with the mental side of dealing with any mobility issues.
- Protect Yourself From Injury
Unlike so many other fitness activities, yoga is a very personal discipline, and should never be viewed as a competitive environment. Rather, by utilizing this time to better understand your body, you can modify any pose to carefully avoid the aggravation of previous trauma, such as spinal, hip, or knee injuries. One can also employ these gentle poses to nurse your weaker areas back to their default health.
- Improve Your Sex Life
Due to its cardio effects, yoga can tone down any excess pounds which will boost your confidence in your naked body. What’s more, your stamina and core stability will increase while your enhanced flexibility will grant you that extra edge in bed.
- Eat Better and Sleep Better
It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that two of the primary keys to healthy living is to eat well and to rest sufficiently. Yoga assists with both of these. By stretching out any restless pains, relaxing the nervous system, and slowing your breathing down, your thoughts will clear and you’ll be eased into an effortless slumber. Furthermore, the aforementioned reduction of stress should minimize any emotional eating, encouraging your body to turn away from junk food while favoring better-balanced options.
- A Perfect Pregnancy Workout
Yoga is such an adaptable practice that you can modify your poses right up until you give birth without any additional risks. Not to mention that the breathing techniques, spinal alignment, and the strengthening of your pelvic floor muscles all work together, helping to reduce the usual pains of labor.
- Cure Your Hangover
When you’ve had one too many the night before, attending a morning yoga session may be the last thing on your mind. That said, it is probably the exact solution you need. As the sweat pours out from your skin, so does the toxins, while the blood flowing to your brain will gradually push the headache away. By the end of the class, you’ll bounce out of there as good as new.
- Yoga Can Be Practiced Anywhere
Sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t make it to a class. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to interrupt your flow, as you can strike a pose anywhere, anytime, even if you watch an online tutorial for support. Purchase a mat, place it down, and you’re good to go!
Joe Fleming, President, Vive Health