You know that yoga will make you flexible and strong but did you know that it has many other incredible health benefits? Research in yoga is quite advanced and this evidence-based review reveals 12 proven benefits for mind and body:
1. Yoga reduces blood pressure, one of the main risk factors for heart disease, the top leading cause of death worldwide. A review of 17 research studies confirmed that the yoga has a modest but significant effect in lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which means that it protects the heart as well.
2. Yoga improves your sleep – one randomized study showed that yoga reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased the number of hours slept, and improved the likelihood of waking up feeling rested
3. Regular practice promotes weight loss. By stimulating metabolism and strengthening the digestive fire, Yoga helps you maintain a healthy weight, as shown in this study.
4. Yoga reduces pain and studies have shown it’s effectiveness in conditions such as low back pain and arthritis. A randomized trial showed that Yoga was more effective than conventional therapy for the wrist pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.
5. Yoga relieves anxiety. For people struggling with nervousness or anxiety of any type, yoga is a powerful practice. This study showed that soldiers experiencing “ongoing environmental disruptions from gunfire and helicopter sounds” still had reduced anxiety and improved sleep from yoga practice, so it’s much more likely to help us with our everyday challenges!
6. Research shows that Yoga improves mood – by boosting levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, regular yoga practice can help elevate mood and well-being and help fight off depression. In addition,it can help with boosting levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor, which actually helps your brain cells grow and mature, thus boosting brain function itself.
7. Improves balance and strengthens your core – Studies showed that regular practice of yoga over just a few weeks can lead to significant improvements in core strength and balance.
8. Beneficial in menopause, yoga was shown to reduce the severity of hot flashes, night sweats, and other challenging menopausal symptoms.
9. Reduces stress – by reducing levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, yoga has been shown to help us handle stress more effectively and better adapt to our busy daily lives.
10. Improves energy – Yoga has been shown to help improve energy and reduce fatigue in different groups of people, including cancer patients. Its ability to cause positive physiological changes in mind and body can help with boosting energy.
11. Strengthens the bones – by boosting bone mineral density, yoga was shown in this study to help counteract the bone loss of osteoporosis, even with just 12 minutes of practice per day.
12. Develops spirituality – Yoga does ultimately have a spiritual component to its practice as well. Research shows that over time as people see the benefits of the practice, they are able to connect with the spiritual dimension of Yoga and find that to be meaningful for them as well.
With so many benefits for body, mind, and spirit, yoga is one of the most powerful tools to help lower inflammation, reduce body weight, and lower your risk of disease, making it an ideal practice for people of all ages.