How are your morning Sun Salutations helping your body start the day? What are your Warrior II poses really doing for your muscles? Have your yoga inversions really been improving your health? We’re diving into the real health benefits of yoga to showcase why it’s one of the best exercises for your body and mind.
Physical benefits of yoga
Flexibility. One of the main benefits of regular yoga practice is increased flexibility. All that stretching and holding of positions allows you to increase your range of motion and balance, and makes you less prone to injury. When you’re more flexible, it’s harder to pull or tweak muscles.
Strength. While yoga isn’t a weight-intensive exercise, consistent practice holding up your body weight and exercising underused muscle groups improves your core muscle strength. Everyone has weak muscle groups. Soon others start compensating and get over-worked. When your yoga form is correct, every muscle gets a targeted workout. Balance is also improved when your core strength increases.
Circulation. Yoga is great for circulation. Increased blood flow is good for your body, and keeps you feeling fit and healthy. Vinyasa yoga, or styles that focus more on flow and rhythm, are particularly good for circulation. With deep breathing and consistent movements, you’ll get that blood pumping.
Cholesterol. Yoga is great for reducing stress, which in turn lowers your risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. If you practice regularly and take time for meditation, breathing and mindfulness, you can put your body on a healthy track!
Mental benefits of yoga
Focus and concentration. Our daily lives are hectic and busy. Yoga is a wonderful way to sync the mind and body. Take a mental break from your daily life with a little yoga practice, and improve your focus and concentration. If you focus on your breathing and the way your muscles move, you can get in touch with your body and clear your head.
Stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga is a great way to help alleviate stress in your life. The mental break you get while doing yoga is exactly what your mind needs to take a step back and set the daily stresses of life aside for a while. The good workout, meditation, and relaxing breathing are all effective with managing anxiety and can even lessen feelings of depression. So next time you’re feeling stressed out, find your serenity with some relaxing yoga.
Memory. The mental break afforded by yoga isn’t only beneficial to your concentration and mood. A new study has found that the meditation and mind/body connection in yoga may be able to improve your memory.
Emotional health. Practicing yoga makes people happy! Not only do you receive the rush of endorphins as with other workouts, when you practice in a group setting, yoga can release oxytocin in your body. This hormone helps you bond with others and boosts your mood. Serotonin, the “happiness hormone,” can also be released when practicing meditation, so you’ll feel even better.
Practicing yoga is equally beneficial to building your body strength, increasing flexibility, and being mindful of your presence while being present for life! So, do yourself a favor: Go to a yoga class and treat yourself to a Svelte plant-based protein shake afterward. Our vegan, GMO-free, certified organic shakes are the perfect recovery drink for your workout.