Whether you’re a novice or a ‘yogi’, regular yoga practice greatly improves both mental AND physical health. Deep breathing, stretching and challenging physical poses encourage focus and balance, not only during class, but all areas of life, including career, relationships, stress and fitness. Here are the 8 health benefits of yoga:
Brain Power: That’s right, yoga makes you smarter! Deep, focused breathing actually fires up the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the area responsible for higher thought.
Emotional Stability: The meditative state that results from deep breathing and controlled mind-body focus helps stabilize your emotional center. This helps balance your mood and control your emotions not only during yoga practice, but outside in the real world as well. Regular practice helps feelings of stress, anger or fear from spiraling out of control.
Stronger Immune System: The combination of breathing and moving encourages the body to release immune boosting cells, which helps you ward off illness and infection.
Balance Hormones: Yoga reduces the body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone that’s linked to weight gain and unhealthy food cravings. Less stress means a slimmer, healthier you.
Healthy Nervous System: Like the immune system, yoga greatly improves the function of the nervous system. The intense focus on mind-body-breath during yoga practice prompts the body’s parasympathetic system to ‘rest and digest’. This is a great counter-balance to the fight-or-flight arena many of us live in.
Strong Mind, Strong Heart: Those suffering from high blood pressure can greatly benefit from regular yoga practice. The deep breathing not only expands and improves lung function, but this ancient practice also lowers your resting heart rate and improves cardiac blood flow.
Strong Body: In addition to all the amazing internal benefits of yoga, let’s not forget about the external benefits. Physical strength, stability, posture, muscle tone and flexibility all result from just 1-2 sessions per week.
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