Do you want more energy, better sleep, a boosted mood, and radiant glow?
As a registered yoga teacher – 200 hours, I am a firm believer in the benefits of a regular yoga practice. I have been practicing yoga for 25 years and as I have grown and evolved, so has my yoga practice. The beauty of yoga is it can move and grow with you throughout your life. There is no age limit. There is no weight limit. There is no mandatory flow. It’s free and requires no essential equipment.
Of all the exercises available, I believe yoga is the most customizable, versatile, and health friendly. Yoga can give you more energy, better sleep, an improved mood and a radiant glow among many other benefits. Yoga, as a practice, is a fluid flow that both grounds and expands.
Here are 28 health benefits of a regular yoga practice.
- Yoga enhances body awareness which has a ripple effect into other areas of your life. When you are in tune with your body you will begin to prioritize self-care, sleep, clean nutrition and daily movement.
- It helps you to manage stress, anxiety and depression symptoms by training your body to breath properly. With practice, conscious breathwork becomes a daily, in the moment act that helps you to regulate triggers that may provoke a stress response (fight/flight/freeze).
- Practicing yoga makes you happier because it promotes the release of feel good endorphins.
- A regular yoga routine protects your spine by keeping it aligned, limber and flexible.
- Daily movement from a yoga flow boosts your metabolism and keeps it humming all day long.
- Over time, a yoga routine leads to enhanced emotional and mental health thanks to the calm, groundedness a practice provides.
- Various postures in yoga help with balance which increase mobility and protects against potential injury.
- Moving the body through a yoga flow increases circulation and promotes glowing, healthy skin.
- You will find you have more energy throughout the day with a regular practice due to the optimization of breathwork and metabolism efficiency.
- Yoga boosts immune function by stimulating the lymphatic system, flushing out toxins from the body and bringing oxygenated blood throughout the body.
- A regular practice can aid in digestion, prevent constipation and decrease bloating by increasing circulation to the digestive tract. With the various postures, particularly twists, the internal organs are stimulated and thus digestion is optimized.
- Weight management is much easier with a regular yoga practice because it cultivates mindfulness and strengthens the mind-body awareness so you’re much less likely to overindulge or act in a way that undermines your health goals.
- Yoga is a true full body workout. It tones muscles throughout your body in a synergistic way and increases muscle endurance because in many postures you typically hold a pose for several breaths.
- Improves your posture by strengthening and stretching the shoulders, chest, back and abdominals which typically get weakened over time from sitting all day. Various yoga postures help with body alignment and practicing standing tall on your mat helps you to stand tall off your mat.
- With a regular practice yoga allows the body to move through a range of motion repeatedly which results in more overall flexibility. Muscle and joint flexibility can be improved with a consistent practice which helps reduce the risk of injury.
- Cultivates a calm demeanor because yoga boosts your body’s production of Oxytocin, aka the cuddle hormone, which makes you feel closer to loved ones and it decreases stress hormones. Endorphins are also released which are important in managing physical pain and negative emotions.
- Improves concentration and focus by creating attention around the breath. By bringing awareness back to your breath you can re-center in the present moment with the current task at hand.
- Yoga supports a stable mind-body connection by calming the nervous system and bringing it back into balance. Postures, breathwork and meditation are all part of a yoga practice and these components work together to help lower blood pressure, reduce your heart rate and lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the body.
- Spending time on your mat lowers inflammation in the body by reducing stress. Over time a regular yoga practice can reduce the production of stress and hunger hormones and increase the anti-inflammatory hormones. A win-win.
- Practicing yoga encourages healthy eating by emphasizing mindfulness which supports mindful eating or intuitive eating. Both of which tend to lead to healthier choices and supportive eating patterns.
- Yoga boosts confidence by cultivating mindfulness around your breath, your thought patterns, your intentions, your vast capabilities. With a regular practice, yoga also brings awareness to your body which can boost your self-image.
- Yoga keeps your heart healthy by increasing lung capacity and improving respiratory function and lowering inflammatory markers that contribute to heart disease.
- Practicing yoga can ease PMS symptoms by releasing endorphins which promote feel-good hormones to be released, easing stress and increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to the reproductive organs.
- Tension is often stored in the body showing up as tight, inflexible muscles. Yoga, through the various postures, works to stretch and strengthen muscles which often reduces muscular tension and tightness.
- Yoga protects your body against injuries by increasing flexibility, balance, and strength. A consistent practice strengthens the muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body decreasing the likelihood of injury.
- Before a yoga sequence begins, it is encouraged to set an intention for your practice. This keeps the mind focused and develops the habit of intention setting in other areas of your life. Setting an intention means choosing something in your life you want to cultivate or manifest. It gives your practice a direction, as it does for your life.
- Moving your body through a yoga flow, brings the mind-body into a meditative state. As you focus on how your body feels in each posture, the mind settles into a calm state and there is a calming effect on the nervous system. Your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and a relaxation response in induced.
- A yoga flow can detoxify the body through exhalation, sweat, and elimination of tension which leaves you feeling energetically, mentally and physically cleansed.
Bonus: Your yoga practice can be a beautiful source of authentic connection with other yogis who are on a journey to deepen their practice too! Yoga promotes community.
The beauty of a consistent yoga practice is it’s free, you can do anywhere. It’s for any age, body type or fitness level. It can be adapted and customized to meet your health goals and schedule. You can practice for 5 minutes or 90 minutes and you still reap the benefits above. The key is consistency, listening to your body and making it an enjoyable experience.
So, grab a pretty mat, cue up some inspiring tunes, bring awareness to your breath and get your body flowing! Namaste.
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