Top 11 benefits of yoga

1. Improves flexibility – One of the most obvious benefits of yoga is how flexibility improves. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to touch your toes, to learn to do a back bend or become less stiff, if you stick with it, you will gradually see improvement and get to where you want to.

2. Increases strength – while you may feel that you are not gaining in any strength, it takes time. Yoga is not a fast-paced sport, it is slow and it can take weeks-months to see a difference in strength. Once you have spent a couple times in down ward dog and you will realise how much strength it really takes.

3. Improves posture – In order to stay healthy throughout our lives, having a proper posture is an important aspect. The spine is one of the most important parts of the body and it is important that you protect it. When your spine is healthy, then energy moves freely, and your body is strong. Through back bends, forward bends and twists, your spine disks become supple. Correcting your poor posture and the imbalance will also help to prevent back pains.

4. Better your bone health – Many studies have shown that weight-baring exercises actually helps your bones as most of the time, yoga requires that you lift your own weight. Through doing these poses it means that your bones become strengthened and are less vulnerable to fractures.

5. Increases blood flow – Yoga is a sure fine way to get your blood flowing. The exercises that you learn in yoga help circulation, especially in the hands and feet. Twisting and stretching also helps with this circulation all the way through your body, such as headstands which can help the blood from your legs and pelvis flow back to the hearty, where it can be freshly oxygenated and pumped to your lungs. The helps to prevent any swelling in your legs from any heart or kidney problems. Yoga also helps boost haemoglobin which carry oxygen to the tissues.

6. Improves balance – for people who are prone to falls, especially the elderly, practising yoga is a good way to prevent these falls. As your balance becomes better through the poses that are performed, when it comes to older age, you are less likely to have as many falls.

7. Releases tension in limbs - As you practice yoga, you can really feel where you hold tension within your body, whether it be your neck, shoulders, face, arms, wrist, legs or feet. One you begin to notice this; you can really learn to tune in and release some of that tension. Through practice and relaxation, you can learn how.

8. Improves sleep quality – many studies have found that through yoga, your sleep routine and sleep quality can improve drastically. As yoga is a way for you to unwind, relax and breathe deeply throughout stretches, it helps you to fall asleep fast, longer and feel much more rested when you wake up. The secretion of melatonin which is a hormone that regulates sleep has also been proven to increase helping you feel rested.

9. Eases pain – A study showed that asana, meditation or a combination of the two, actually reduces back pain, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as other chronic conditions. In turn, when your pain is being relives, your mood also improves.

10. Reduces stress – you don’t need research to tell you that exercise has a positive impact on your mental and physical well being. It can reduce, stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga is no exception, it actually helps you to manage your stress, reduce your heart rate and ease respiration.

11. Improves concentration – It is a very important part of yoga to concentrate and focus as you breathe and move in and out of poses. Being aware of your body and how breathing can help be a useful tool to increase your concentration throughout all day-to-day activities.

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