10 Benefits of Yoga that are Supported by Science

  • Yoga offers a wide range of benefits aside from simply improving your flexibility.
  • Several yoga poses require you to support your own weight, which can help build muscle strength and improve your balance.
  • Yoga practice also introduces you to meditation and breathing techniques which help you relieve stress by focusing on the present and disengaging from your thoughts.

Many people have chosen yoga as their main form of physical activity. That is because it offers a wide range of benefits that do wonders for your mental and physical health.

Read on to find out what consistently practicing yoga can do for you.

1. Flexibility 

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Our flexibility usually decreases as we age, especially if we lead a sedentary lifestyle. Yoga can help counteract this with its wide range of poses.

Stretching in new ways helps loosen tight areas and gives you a greater range of motion over time.

2. Strength

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A lot of yoga poses forces you to bear your body weight: the tree pose includes balancing on one leg while downward facing dog requires you to support yourself with your arms.

You can build up muscle strength simply by holding these poses over several counts.

3. Muscle Tone and Definition

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As mentioned above, you can increase your muscle tone as you build up strength. Expect to see lean muscles in your legs, arms, back, and abdomen over time.

4. Balance

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Several yoga poses also test your balance and improve it over time. These poses also help build the core strength that keeps you upright.

6. Back Pain Prevention

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Back pain is usually caused by long sitting hours. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to tightness throughout the body and spinal compression.

As you increase flexibility and strength through yoga practice, you can help prevent these conditions.

7. Better Breathing

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Pranayama consists of yoga breathing exercises that help us focus on our breathing and take deeper breaths, which benefits the entire body.

Some breathing exercises also help clear nasal passages or calm the nervous system.

8. Mental Calmness

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Meditation techniques in yoga teach you to focus on your breath and disengage from your thoughts. This can help calm yourself down in stressful situations.

Meanwhile, yoga asana practice, which is intensely physical, forces you to concentrate on the pose you’re holding. This state of concentration also brings calmness to your mind.

9. Reduced Stress

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Physical activity has been proven to relieve stress. With yoga, the added concentration helps you melt away the time, providing a much-needed break from your stressors.

Yoga also places emphasis on being in the present moment, which helps you let go of past regrets and future worries.

10. Self-Confidence Boost

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Trying out different yoga poses gives you better awareness of what your body can currently do and what you can possibly do through practice.

Over time, you will feel more comfortable in your own body, giving you a self-confidence boost.

 

Source: verywellfit



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