Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is popular for increasing flexibility and reducing stress but there’s way more to the practice than this. The hidden, less talked about benefits of yoga, will not only help you find inner peace, it will also help you function better in your daily life, whether it is at work, the kitchen, or your bedroom. Keep reading to find out why it’s worth it to start showing off your yoga skills today.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
1. Immunity boost
According to one study, yoga may lead to changes in your body at a cellular level . Practicing yoga every day changes your gene expression responsible for immunity, thereby increasing your ability to ward off disease more effectively.
The best part is, it doesn’t take long for this change to occur. Researchers have found that these changes take place while you’re on the mat and they are more pronounced compared to listening to music and taking a hike.
Yoga boosts immunity by improving your overall health. The deep, controlled breathing in yoga and the various types of postures aid in blood circulation, which improve organ and immune system function.
2. No more insomnia
According to a Harvard research, just 8 weeks of daily yoga can lead to a significant improvement in sleep quality among people with insomnia . Another study showed that performing yoga twice a week helped cancer survivors did not only help cancer survivors feel less fatigued, it improved their sleep quality too .
Yoga’s powerful insomnia-busting effects can be attributed to its ability to help people cope better with stress. When you stress less, your body learns to relax and you fall asleep much faster.
3. Increase in strength and flexibility
Even though you’re not using any heavy weight, the postures strengthen your body, helping you look good and feel good.
Each yoga pose is designed to reinforce muscles situated around the spine, the center of the body, also known as the core. Each of your movements propagate from the core, so it makes sense to pay special attention towards it.
When your core is functioning optimally, exercises that work other parts of your body become more effective.
The stretching and deep breathing involved in yoga also help lengthen your muscles, loosen your joints and improve your range of motion. This helps boost your flexibility dramatically, and reduces your risk of bone-related disease such as arthritis.
Contrary to popular belief, you won’t be expected to twist yourself up into a human pretzel on your first try. Yoga is a journey that allows you to work at your own pace and build your strength and flexibility in a safe and gentle manner.
4. No more back pain
Numerous studies have shown that yoga is more effective at treating chronic back pain than regular care. In one study, people with chronic back pain reported improved back function after performing yoga .
5. Heart disease prevention
According to a study, 9 patients out of 19 showed improvement in their heart health, their capacity to exercise and their overall quality of life, after performing 8 weeks of yoga . The cardiovascular benefits of yoga may even help reduce arterial plaque and reduce risk of heart attacks.
Cognitive, emotional and spiritual benefits
1. Memory boost
Countless researches show that the benefits of yoga are not only physical, but they extend to the brain too. Yoga is a great way to clear the “trash” from your body, physically and mentally.
By performing yoga, you’re also warding off physical tension and mental stress, which are massive parts of the “trash” in your system. By clearing them out and creating a calmer and relaxed space, you’ll be able to recall much easier and develop more organized thoughts.
2. Treat depression
Any type of exercise can help people with depression. In one study, yoga can have immense emotional benefits towards people living with depression, sleep problems and psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia .
Yoga stimulates the production of oxytocin, also known as the love and bonding hormone. Yoga also increases serotonin levels, which helps increase happiness, contentment and calm.
3. Increase in creativity
Since you’re fighting away all mental and physical stressors with yoga, you’ll find it much easier to let your creative juices flow without mental cloudiness.
4. Stay connected
Yoga is a great way of getting connected. When you practice yoga, you understand that we are all connected and are here to help one another. We remind ourselves that being kind to others increases our potential to do much more in our daily lives, for ourselves and for others.
If you’re thrilled reading the benefits of yoga as we are, we highly recommend you joining us at Chiang Mai Thailand, where you’ll find a plethora of useful tips on how you can start your health and fitness journey right away.
1. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 17;8(4):e61910. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061910. Print 2013. Rapid gene expression changes in peripheral blood lymphocytes upon practice of a comprehensive yoga program.
2. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2004 Dec;29(4):269-78. Treatment of chronic insomnia with yoga: a preliminary study with sleep-wake diaries.
3. URMC Study: Yoga Improves Sleep, Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors.
4. Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals for Internal Medicine. 1 NOVEMBER 2011
5. J Card Fail. 2008 Jun;14(5):407-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2007.12.007. Epub 2008 May 27. Effects of yoga on inflammation and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure.
6. Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders. Front. Psychiatry, 25 January 2013 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00117