10 Physical and Mental Benefits of Yoga

From reducing depression to supporting heart health, the benefits of yoga extend to physical, mental, and emotional health.

1. Yoga for Depression

Yoga has shown to improve personal scores of well-being and depression. The reduction of stress responses that following yoga practices can contribute to lower levels of depression. Controlled breathing techniques can further provide depression relief as well.

2. Yoga for Anxiety & Mood

The calmness, relaxation, and fluidity of yoga has consistently shown to reduce stress and anxiety by regulating stress responses. The natural anxiety relief from yoga may help alleviate panic attacks, or at least dissipate overwhelming emotions.

3. Yoga for Sleep

Inadequate sleep can be caused by a number of factors, stress and anxiety included. But with a quiet mind and deeper relaxation, followers of yoga may be able to improve their sleep cycles.

Studies have shown yoga can increase overall quality of life, including on mood and sleep, in patients with dementia and cancer.

4. Yoga & Focus

Yoga-goers can improve brain function with each yoga pose. Certain yoga techniques have been used to stimulate the brain and nervous system.

5. Yoga for Self-Esteem

The psychological effects of performing yoga postures shows to improve sense of energy and self-esteem. What’s more, the positive effects of yoga practice can occur after performing yoga poses for only 2 minutes.

6. Yoga for Brain Disorders

Yoga may be a beneficial add-on therapy for brain disorders and mental health conditions. Research particularly shows positive effects on schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

7. Yoga for Strength

Although building muscle is not a primary focus or goal of yoga, its use can certainly facilitate strength.

Whether or not yoga should be implemented as a sole strength training regimen certainly aligns with individual goals. However, the practice can be effective for sculpting lean body mass.

8. Yoga for Heart Health

Pranayamas are breathing exercises practiced in yoga. Implementing and refining these breathing techniques improves breathing and posture, thus increasing lung capacity. Large air volume and flow offers fresh oxygen into the lungs and body tissues.

Yoga has been shown to contribute to improved heart health in a series of ways. First off, yoga manages and reduces stress, a risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease. Yoga also contributes to the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week for good heart health. Individuals who enroll in yoga sessions are shown to continue exercising further down the road.

9. Yoga Effects on Weight Loss

Though yoga is slow and tame, research has shown yoga can lead to weight loss.

Experts commonly suggest increased mindfulness and awareness may facilitate better lifestyle choices, including healthier and more nutritious food selections.

10. Yoga for Injury Protection and Recovery

Athletes of all sports turn to yoga to avoid injury or recover from one. Poses and motions help to increase flexibility and stretch out tense muscles.

Yoga can restore body and muscle functions rather than break them down the way an intense workout can.

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