What are the health benefits of yoga?

What is yoga?

  • Yoga is a practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
  • There are many different types of yoga..

Hatha yoga

  • Hatha yoga is a combination of the different types of yoga and is one of the most popular styles.
  • There is more moving than meditating.
  • Pranayamas are breath-controlled exercises.
  • Asanas which are the poses.
  • Savasana which is the resting period after the exercises.

Yoga may help with back strain.

  • Yoga poses will help strengthen  your back muscles, other types of exercises may not focus in on these areas.
  • Strengthening these back muscles may help alleviate strain.
  • Recent studies in people with chronic low-back pain suggest that a carefully adapted set of yoga poses may help reduce pain and improve function (the ability to walk and move).

How can yoga help with overall health?

  • Yoga is low impact, it will not strain your body as much as other exercises.
  • Yoga appears to lower blood pressure
  • Yoga appears to lower cholesterol levels.
  • “Researchers studied a small group of sedentary individuals who had not practiced yoga before. After eight weeks of practicing yoga at least twice a week for a total of 180 minutes, participants had greater muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness.” Harvard Health
  • Yoga appears to raise pain thresholds, it has been beneficial in those with arthritic pain Harvard Health

 

health benefits of yoga

Improves flexibility.

  • Yoga poses requires more flexibility than other types of exercises.
  • Flexibility can help you maintain a healthy active lifestyle.

Improves balance.

  • Balance is needed to practice yoga.
  • You may have to modify your poses at first.
  • Usually if you stick with yoga you will improve your balance.
  • Like with most other things in life, practice makes perfect.
  • Blocks can help you modify your routine if you need it.
  • The blocks give you support without  bending as far (to the floor).

Performing yoga will build muscle strength

  • It is important to build muscle mass. As we age we lose muscle mass. During weight loss we lose not only lose fat but also lean muscle.
  • Yoga poses require strength and balance.
  • Yoga can help increase lean muscle.
  • The increase in lean muscle helps build strong bones.

Yoga can help with posture and proper alignment

  • An instructor can show you proper alignment when performing the different poses.
  • As you practice yoga over a longer period of time your posture will generally improve as slumping forward will feel unnatural.

Yoga can help increase concentration.

  • Holding a yoga pose requires concentration and balance.
  • You need to focus if you are going to maintain poses.

Exercising in general helps reduce stress by decreasing cortisol levels.

  • Yoga will benefit overall health.
  • The feel good hormones, endorphins, are also increased.
  • The increase in endorphins make you feel happy while reducing risks of depression.

Exercises such as yoga can also help you sleep better.

  • Yoga takes energy and focus.
  • Yoga decreases stress levels

Yoga may help reduce anxiety and depression

  • Yoga has been used in people with post traumatic stress disorders.
  • Yoga appears to reduce anxiety levels

No proven benefits

  • Yoga has not been shown to reduce asthma.

How does yoga help with weight loss?

  • Yoga makes you more aware of your surroundings and what you are eating.
  • It creates a sense of mindfulness.
  • Studies show that those who practice yoga weigh less than others who do not practice yoga -Reference Harvard health

Practice safe yoga

  • Listen to your body.
  • If you feel a strain…stop.
  • If you are dizzy…stop
  • Hot Yoga-Yoga is practiced at 105°F. This can be a strain on people with certain medical conditions, please speak to your physician  about exercising in these environments
  • Drink water before, during, and after yoga.
  • Wear suitable clothing.
  • People with glaucoma and sciatica should speak to their physicians before yoga.
  • As with other forms of exercise you should speak to your doctor first.

Try yoga, you may be pleasantly surprised

  • Try a yoga class or just watch a tape.
  • There are a ton of you tube beginner yoga videos
  • Amazon has some free videos for prime members.



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