Yoga practitioners, or yogis, have often raved of the many benefits that practicing yoga has provided for them.  From the powers of meditation and relaxation to the increased flexibility and toning of muscles, yoga has a lot of health benefits to offer.  Dr. Richard Usatine, author and associate dean of medical education at the FSU College of Medicine, states “Yoga can be as important as any medication…This is a lifestyle change.  This is a way to improve the quality of your life.”  Yoga enthusiasts and research back up what Dr. Usatine states.  Here are just a few health benefits of practicing yoga.

Enhances Flexibility And Tones Muscles

If you sit in an office all day, your entire body will experience tightening and lower your overall flexibility.  Practicing yoga on a regular basis will gradually loosen those tight areas of your body (like your hamstrings or hips) and you will notice that your posture will improve.  You may also notice small aches you have experienced as a result of poor posture will start to go away and tight muscles will start to disappear too.  Yoga poses can also be great for gaining strength in your muscles and creating toned arms, stomach, and legs.

Beneficial To Our Lungs

It is all about the breath in yoga class.  Yoga promotes breathing in and out through the nose when holding yoga poses and flowing through certain positions.  Yoga instructors often remind you to breathe and often have you count as you do so.  Breathing through our noses actually provides a natural air filter, which is more beneficial to our lungs than breathing through our mouths.   

Great For Your Mental Health

Various studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly does wonders for all aspects of mental health.  Practitioners of yoga have reported feeling happier, less stressed and getting better (and deeper) sleep.  Studies have also been conducted that show yoga can help with feelings of anxiety and depression.  Many professional facilities for drug and alcohol abuse have made recovery yoga a part of rehab programs that they offer because of all of the mental health benefits that yoga provides.

Improves Balance

Anyone that has taken a yoga class knows that yoga promotes balance by holding certain poses for long periods of time.  By partaking in yoga classes, your balance improves which also improves posture and overall balance with our bodies.

If you regularly practice yoga you are already aware of the tremendous benefits that yoga provides and will most likely keep practicing yoga.  If yoga is something you are willing to try, look online for poses or search for a beginner’s class in your area.  With so many health benefits it is an exercise routine worthy of trying.

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