Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga can hardly be called a trend.
Stress Relief: The practice of Yoga is well-demonstrated to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. Yoga practice has been demonstrated to reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Related heath benefits: Yoga can aid in lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia, to name a few.
Pain Relief: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have shown that practicing Yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.
Better Breathing: Yoga includes breathing practices known as pranayama, which can be effective for reducing our stress response, improving lung function and encouraging relaxation. By changing our pattern of breathing, we can significantly affect our bodyʼs experience of and response to stress. This may be one of the most profound lessons we can learn from our Yoga practice.
Flexibility: Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility and increase range of motion. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity.
Increased Strength: Yoga asanas use every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe. A regular Yoga practice can also relieve muscular tension throughout the whole body.
Weight management: Even a gentle yoga practice help support weight loss. People do not have to
practice the most vigorous forms of Yoga to lose weight. Yoga encourages development of a positive selfimage, as more attention is paid to nutrition and the body as a whole. A study from the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that regular Yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain.
Improved circulation: Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the bodyʼs cells.
Cardiovascular Conditioning: Even a gentle Yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by
lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
Presence: Yoga connects us with the present moment, to become more aware and to help create mindbody health. The more we practice, the more aware we become of our surroundings and the world around us. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
Inner peace: The meditative effects of a consistent Yoga practice help many cultivate inner peace and calm.
Some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on learning and memory. Researchers have been studying whether yoga can slow the aging process, increase a persons sense of self-acceptance, or improve energy levels. Some potential benefits of yoga may be hard to study scientifically. For instance, yoga has been said to increase spiritual awareness. Go to any yoga studio and listen to students after class. Some will even tell you that yoga can help improve marriage and relationships and attitudes toward people at work