By Himanshu Agarwal

10 Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga

  • Yoga is an ancient practice that has been continuously growing in popularity throughout the United States in recent decades. And there’s no wonder why! More and more researchers are realizing the incredible health benefits that come along with practicing these postures on a daily basis. From improvements in your flexibility to improving the blood flow around your body, we’re going to go through the main health benefits that are seen by those who practice yoga down below. Keep reading and you might even find yourself signing up for a yoga class or two by the end of this article!

    1. Improves your flexibility

    One of the first health benefits that comes with the practice of yoga is the improvement in your flexibility that you will see. When you start your first class, you might notice that you won’t be able to do all of the stretches completely. This is because your body has not learned how to stretch that far yet. But over time and over many yoga classes, you will see that your muscles actually learn how to stretch more and remember those stretches. That’s where you will see a massive improvement in your flexibility.

    2. Builds up your muscle strength

    When you think about building up muscle, your first thought is probably that you’re going to look great when you lean down and get rid of all that fat. However, that’s not the only benefit that comes with training up your muscles and building your strength. Strong muscles are also going to protect your body from things like arthritis and back pain throughout your life. Yoga will help you build up these muscles whenever you try out new postures and perfect old ones.

    3. Perfects your posture

    One of the next fantastic benefits that comes along with practicing yoga is that you will be able to perfect your posture. Think about your head as a heavy bowling ball. Your head (the bowling ball) is moving around on your spine all day. You move it to the side, to the front, and to the back. Over time, this can add tons of strain on your muscles and have lasting effects on your normal posture. Yoga takes the muscles around your head and neck and corrects them.

    4. Keeps your cartilage and joints from breaking down

    Whenever you go through a yoga class or do yoga in your home, you are going to be taking your joints through their complete range of motion. This means you will be moving cartilage and joints in your body that you might not move around on a daily basis. This is going to help with everything from aching pain you may feel in your joints to full-fledged arthritis at old age. Think of your cartilage, joints, and muscles as having a memory of their own. If you keep moving them around in various motions, they will be able to remember this and be less likely to break down because you continuously strengthen them up.

    5. Protects your spine from damage

    The disks of your spine are some of the least-moved bones in your body. Your spine craves movement in order to generate the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. When you complete the various twists and turns involved in doing yoga poses, you are going to be keeping your spine healthy and protecting your disks from any dangerous damage.

    6. Increases the health of your bones

    It’s been incredibly well researched that practicing yoga has a great effect on the health of your bones and can ward off conditions like osteoporosis. That’s because many yoga postures require you to lift up your own weight in order to complete the pose. After many sessions of yoga, your bones will strengthen thanks to these postures that put a ton of weight onto your bones.

    7. Improves blood flow around your body

    One of the biggest advantages to practicing yoga is that it improves the blood circulation around your body. All of this circulation means that more oxygen is flowing throughout your body and improving various bodily conditions. Sometimes, the level of oxygen in our blood can get low because of inactivity. When you practice yoga, you are basically giving your body’s blood flow a big boost.

    8. Boosts your immune system

    If you’ve ever heard of your lymph nodes, you probably know that they have something to do with your immune system. Well, whenever you practice yoga and are stretching your body around, you are going to be draining your lymph. This improves the ability of the lymphatic system to ward off infections like the flu, fight off cancerous cells, and ensure that your body stays healthy for a long period of time. Who knew?

    9. Increases your heart rate

    Another advantage that comes with practicing yoga on a daily basis is the fact that your heart rate is going to increase. And when you do this, thanks to aerobic exercise, your chances decrease of having a heart attack or depression. Plus, when you increase your heart rate, this is what causes you to burn a large number of calories and lose that weight you might have been wanting to work off.

    10. Decreases your blood pressure

    For any of you that might be suffering from high blood pressure, you should seriously think about picking up yoga. Because of the relaxing effects of yoga and all the other positive effects that come along with it, you’re likely to see a drop in your blood pressure levels over time. This has been backed up in numerous studies which compared the blood pressure of those people who practiced to yoga to those who just sat on the couch. Those who practiced yoga were shown to have a dramatic drop in their high blood pressure levels thanks to the practice.

    All of these health benefits that come along with practicing yoga are absolutely fantastic for anyone from any age group. No matter if you’re in college or if you are a bit riper in years, everyone can benefit from this practice.