Ten Benefits of Yoga Practice

benefits of yoga practiceBy Faye Martins 

It seems the benefits of yoga practice are quite extensive. The reasons why people begin a yoga practice run the gamut. Whether they’re inspired by the interesting moves or long for a sense of emotional stability, yoga continues to provide a safe space for people to enhance their well-being. If you’ve never known the many benefits of yoga practice, consider the following ten.

Stress Management 

Stress is known as a killer around the world.  Stress has been called, the “number one killer” or “#1 proxy killer,” because it is the root cause of many diseases and medical conditions. Within the US, 75-90% of all medically-related visits are directly connected to stress. Even if you practice 15 minutes of yoga each night, this can impact your ability to decrease your stress, relax and sleep deeply. 

 

Flexibility 

When people see the amazing poses and range of motion so many experts have, they assume they can’t get there. The key is to start with a gradual process. By challenging the body to become more flexible in increments, you can enhance your body’s ability to perform simple tasks like jumping, sitting and standing without feeling tons of soreness.

Increased Strength 

If you don’t have access to heavy weights, use yoga as an excellent form of strength-training. By using your body weight, you can tone, strengthen and sculpt your muscles. Yoga naturally lengthens the body. As a result, you’ll see your muscles become more defined over time. 

 

Mood Stability 

When you’re in a yoga practice, one of the elements you become conscious of is your breath. There is so much power in being able to control your breath as you can use it to calm yourself down, stabilize your mood and feel better. When you’re in the middle of a stressful day and don’t have time to get into cat/cow pose, you can use the breathing elements from yoga to benefit your mood in the moment. 

Heart Health 

Circulation and blood flow are essential to the body’s ability to thrive. By implementing a yoga practice, you can help with heart health overall. It can also help to lower dangerous factors like high cholesterol and blood pressure. Among the many benefits of yoga, heart health may be the most underrated, but it is the most vital of all health benefits.

 

Improved Metabolism 

Your metabolism and your endocrine system go hand in hand. if you want to improve your hormones and your metabolism, yoga will stimulate your metabolism to burn calories over time. By practicing specific yoga asanas, you may be able to speed up your metabolism which works to your benefit. As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down. Anything that can safely speed it up is worth trying.

Weight Loss

If you’re on a journey to lose weight, you might assume that running is a better exercise to implement instead of yoga. However, you can do both. Depending on the type of yoga you do, you can burn a significant number of calories. You can also become more mindful of the food you eat and reduce your stress levels. These two factors play the largest role in a weight loss journey.

 

Improved Physical Performance

A list containing benefits of yoga practice is not complete without mentioning enhanced athletic ability. Whether you want to be able to stand taller or maintain better posture, yoga holds the power to make a person more cognizant of their posture and how to improve it. Not only can it help with the physical performance of activities like sitting up straight and breathing properly, but it can also help with the physical performance in sports such as football. When you’re an athlete like a football player, it’s essential to keep the body strong yet limber. One of the ways many NFL players improve and fine-tune their bodies is through a consistent, thorough yoga practice. 

Anti-Aging Effects 

When many people think of anything that’s related to anti-aging benefits, they’ll typically think of skincare products and supplements. However, a 2017 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity study discovered how yoga can potentially slow down the aging process at the cellular level. Within 12 weeks, researchers discovered changes when individuals practiced 90 minutes of yoga for five days each week. Their practice includes mixtures of postures, meditation and focused breathing at the All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi, India.

 

Inflammation Reduction

While inflammation tends to naturally happen, there are plenty of ways to reduce it as it can lead to chronic illnesses. A 2017 Frontiers of Human Neuroscience study discovered that when participants completed a certain amount of meditation, physical postures and chanting for three months, they were able to decrease the destructive pro-inflammatory markers and also increase the protective anti-inflammatory markers in the body.

If you ask a number of individuals about the benefits of yoga practice, you’ll probably get a myriad of answers. There’s no question that a person can become better from it. While high-intensity exercises can potentially injure the joints and muscles, yoga is one of the few practices that can strengthen and heal the body simultaneously.

 

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656 Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine
delineate the benefits of yoga practice as an adjunct treatment of HF. The sustained body weight and girth of the study groups not only points to the need to include weight loss interventions in future studies but also implies that the benefits of yoga demonstrated in our findings were independent of weight loss. In conclusion, yoga offered additional benefits to HF patients in regards to, exercise capacity, QoL, inflammatory markers, a precursor of nitric oxide (EC-SOD), and flexibility when compared with a group of HF patients who received standard medical care.
The study was partially funded by the John and Rosalie Weiss research grant from the ACSM.
The authors thank Hugger Mugger Yoga Products, LLC, for donating yoga products to the study. The results of the study do not constitute endorsement by the ACSM. None of the authors have any conflict of interest.

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