Five benefits of yoga to convince you to get on the mat
In the past few decades it has become impossible to imagine a world without yoga – or at least an Instagram feed without sun salutations at the beach. You probably have a few friends who wax lyrical about their yoga practice and perhaps you are considering trying out some asanas yourself. If you need a bit more convincing about the benefits of yoga – aside from having a valid reason to buy more yoga pants – have a read below.
It’s not “one size fits all”
Yoga has been around for a long, long time so it’s no surprise that many different types of yoga have developed. From physically intense Vinyasa yoga to sweaty Bikram there is something in the mix for you (have you considered puppy yoga?). Though it might not seem it, yoga is actually really accessible and suited for people at all different levels of fitness.
From Downward Dog to down with stress and anxiety
It’s reported that yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety which could be ascribed to the fact that many forms of yoga incorporate forms of meditation. This doesn’t necessarily mean the practice is always spiritual but there is a focus on being present in the moment and really feeling your body through the different poses. Studies have actually shown that yoga can decrease the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Improve your sleep quality
What goes hand in hand with stress reduction? Yup, yoga can actually help you sleep better as well. Though it’s not just the reduction of stress and anxiety that help improve your sleep quality – yoga has been found to promote melatonin production, an important sleep hormone. Of course improving your sleep comes with a ton of health benefits, such improved productivity and concentration and decreased risk of heart disease.
Stay balanced and touch your toes
A large part of yoga is stretching and holding certain poses. Though it might be tricky at first this makes it a great exercise for those looking to improve their flexibility and balance. Not only can yoga be helpful for those suffering from balance issues, it is also a great companion to other workouts to stretch and lengthen your muscles.
Build your strength
Though it might not always seem that way yoga is actually a great way to build muscle. A key aspect of yoga is the focus of strength building. Even the performing of foundational poses regularly over a period of weeks can increase your upper and lower body strength. As yoga can be practice in quite gentle ways this is a great way for those suffering from health issues like chronic pain and arthritis and it can even help you improve your posture.