Health & Fitness Benefits of Practicing Yoga

There are so many health and fitness benefits of practising yoga that it’s near impossible to name them all.

However, in this article, we will show you ten of the top benefits you can gain from implementing yoga into your daily routine.

1. Yoga improves your flexibility

This might seem like an obvious benefit, even for those who are new to yoga. But if you’ve ever reached the end of the day and felt stiff from sitting at the computer for hours on end, or your back is aching from standing on your feet all day at work, you’re in for a treat.

When you introduce yoga into your regular routine, it won’t be long before you’re feeling more flexible – kind of like you would after practicing a regular gymnastics routine! By stretching your muscles every day, all your ligaments will begin to loosen and you will soon notice the general aches you regularly felt start to disappear.

2. Yoga helps to tone your muscles

Toning your muscles has multiple benefits. Sure, firming up our bodies can lead to weight loss, and this can improve the way we look. However, by toning our muscles we are also protecting our bodies. Making ourselves stronger means we can prevent ourselves from developing conditions like arthritis, while it also allows us to easily be more physical each day without feeling tired.

3. Yoga is great for your balance

While you’re strengthening your muscles through your daily yoga routine, you’ll begin to find your balance is improving. This means you’ll feel steadier on your feet as the days go by. This is a huge benefit if you are entering the later stages of life, as falls in the elderly age group are one of the biggest risks to their health.

4. Yoga will improve your posture

If you’ve ever suffered from a stiff neck or bad back, chances are your posture isn’t as good as it should be. When you walk, stand and sit with an erect spine, your muscles don’t have to work too hard. However, if your alignment is out, it’s common to suffer from aches and pains as your body works to support your muscles. Not only does this cause discomfort, but it can also lead to fatigue. Yoga helps you to become aware of your posture and strengthen your core, so you can ease the pain within your neck and back.

5. Yoga gets the blood pumping

It can be easy to lump yoga into the ‘easy exercise’ category, as many believe it’s not a strenuous workout. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, there are types of yoga – such as yin – which focus on relaxation and meditation, but there are also many other types of yoga that give you a good cardio workout.

Some yoga poses – such as handstands and twisting postures – can really get the blood flowing. This improvement in circulation has multiple benefits, as you are essentially pushing more oxygen around to your body’s cells.

Not only does this type of workout make us feel invigorated, but it has other multiple benefits, such as reducing the chances of clots becoming present in our blood. Blood clots can cause serious health ailments such as heart attack and stroke, so anything we can do to improve our cardiovascular health can only be a good thing!

6. Yoga works at boosting your immune system

If you feel as though you’re always catching colds that are going around, maybe it’s time to take up a regular yoga practice. Meditation, an important element of yoga practice, has been scientifically proven to improve the immune system.

A study from the New York Academy of Sciences has shown meditation has multiple benefits on immunity cells within the body and can even help to reduce biological aging.

7. Yoga makes you feel happy

Even if boosting your immune system isn’t enough to put a smile on your face, a study from the University of Wisconsin has shown yoga can increase serotonin levels in the body, which works towards improving our happiness.

The study was carried out amongst sufferers of depression, who noted they began to feel improvements in their mental health after following a regular yoga regime.

8. Yoga improves your focus

Yoga is great for slowing down your mind and focusing on what is happening at the present moment. The practice enables you to improve your focusing ability and eliminate surrounding distractions. These learnings can then be applied to other areas of your life, allowing you to achieve improved focus throughout your day-to-day tasks.

9. Yoga enhances your sleep

If you struggle to sleep at night, yoga could be the perfect sleep remedy. Yoga has been proven to relax not just the body but the mind, meaning you can more easily get your racing thoughts under control while restoring calm. So many of us live hectic and busy lives, and this overstimulation can make it difficult for us to unwind at the end of the day. But by implementing a regular yoga practice into your daily regime, you can begin to sleep more deeply. Try practicing a yoga nidra (guided meditation) right before bed to truly relax the body and mind.

10. Yoga encourages self-care and improves self-confidence

Yoga allows you to take time out for yourself each day, focusing inwards and injecting moments of calm into your life. This is perfect for improving our self-care. And when we take the time out of our busy lives to focus on self-care, it often leads to improvements in our self-confidence.

This is because the more cared for we feel, the better we feel about ourselves. This often means that the more we commit to a regular practice of yoga, the more we will begin to realise the true benefits of the practice. Over time (and it won’t take long!) we will begin to feel as though our body is healing its daily ailments while also feeling better about ourselves – from the inside out.

Stick with rolling out your yoga mat on a daily basis, and you’ll feel as though you can’t live without yoga in your life. So get some yoga equipment together and begin your regular practice today!

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