You have probably heard about the numerous health benefits of yoga. The practice has gained a lot of attention in recent years due to its ability to recharge your mind apart from working out your body. Let's look at the top 5 benefits of Yoga:
1. Reduces stress
Several studies have shown that yoga can release stress, improve symptoms of depression, and promotes relaxation. Numerous studies have found that yoga practice can increase serotonin levels and decrease levels of cortisol (stress hormone). One study analyzed 24 women who considered themselves as emotionally distressed. After 3 months of yoga, women experienced lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
2. Improves flexibility
One of the most obvious benefits of yoga is the improvement in your flexibility. Yoga relaxes the muscles, releases tension, and loosens them up. You will notice the improvement with time. At first, when you do forward you might not be able to touch your toes but that will become possible in just a few weeks. Inflexibility can lead to a lot of health problems like tight hips can strain the knee joint and tight hamstrings can lead to back pain. With yoga, all these health problems will disappear one by one.
3. Promotes bone health and muscle strength
It is widely known that weight-bearing exercises help in strengthening your bones, improve bone density, and overall bone health. A lot of postures in yoga-like downward facing dog and upward facing dog puts weight on one of your body parts and makes them stronger. Furthermore, some studies have shown that yoga increases bone density in vertebrae and reduces cortisol, which helps in retaining calcium in the bone.
4. Increases blood flow
Practicing yoga helps in relaxing your muscles and gets your blood flowing. The circulation especially increases in your hands and feet. Yoga also helps in getting more oxygen to the cells. Twisting poses and inverted poses like forwarding bend or headstand helps in wringing out venous blood and allow oxygenated blood to flow through the body. An increase in blood flow helps to prevent heart or kidney problems, boosts hemoglobin, and decreases clot-promoting proteins.
5. Helps you in sleeping better
Poor sleep quality can be a precursor to so many health problems like obesity, depression, and heart problems. In a study done in 2005, 69 elderly patients were asked to practice either yoga, take herbal preparation, or be a part of the control group. The results found that the group who chose yoga was able to sleep much better. Yoga provides relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life, which means you are able to sleep better once you start practicing yoga.
By: Kiara Sharma
School: Mahaveer Public School