7 reasons to practice yoga every day

by Anneliese Horan ****
Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Yoga is a popular, fast-growing, diverse fitness and wellness movement.

It can be a relaxing, slower-paced, flowing movement, or an energetic, face-paced, sweat-filled workout. 

Nevertheless, there are many health benefits from whichever yoga practice you choose. 

In no particular order, here are seven reasons why you should make practicing yoga part of your daily to-do list: 

Yoga relieves stress and anxiety. 

Many people laugh at yogis’ “hippie” lifestyle, their carefree attitudes and their seemingly strange practices.

However, science has proved again and again that yoga can significantly improve stress and anxiety levels. 

A 2005 study showed that women under extreme stress and suffering from anxiety had remarkable improvements in their mental health after undergoing a three-month yoga intensive. 

Other research shows that yoga actually decreases the cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress, in participants. 

Yoga improves the quality of your sleep.

Do you find yourself lying awake for what feels like hours before you finally drift off into a restful sleep?

According to a 2014 research study, a daily yoga practice of at least 25 minutes for 12 weeks led to improved sleep duration and quality in adults with insomnia. 

Yoga has also been proved to improve sleep by increasing serotonin and dopamine, theyour hormones involved in sleep and relaxation. 

So the next time you are tossing and turning at night, remember that yoga may help.

Yoga increases digestion and relieves bloating. 

The holiday season is coming up, which means days filled with eating fabulous food and delicious desserts. 

Practicing yoga may help with digesting all the wonderful food the holiday season brings about.

A study previously mentioned also points to yoga’s benefits on digestion and bloating, by increasing the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is directly linked to the digestive system.

So instead of feeling weighed down from that second (or third, or fourth …) serving of pecan pie, just go into a downward-facing dog pose for a few breaths.

Check out this guide to yoga poses for digestion

Yoga enhances your blood flow.

This one may be self-explanatory (because any exercise increases blood flow), but yoga does display significant improves in blood flow and circulation! 

This study shows that after 12 weeks of yogic practices, blood flow to the participants’ brains improved so much so that they were able to change and activate brain functions

Other benefits from increased blood circulation that yoga may provide include improved digestion, increased relaxation, sleep quality, and much, much more.

Yoga increases balance and flexibility.

Now this one may also seem self-explanatory but I had to throw it in there.

Most people know that yoga leads to increased flexibility and balance, but do you know how much? 

Study shows that over a 10-week period college athletes had a 21.4 inch increase in flexibility. The same study showed a four second increase in the time able to balance in some poses. 

Yoga builds strength and muscle mass.

You know the plank exercises you have been doing for years to get those 6-pack abs? Yes, those are yoga poses. 

Planks are traditional yoga poses that have become a major part of mainstream ab workouts. 

Many yoga poses, whether you realize it or not, are increasing your strength and building your muscles – without needing those 10-pound weights.

Check out these 11 yoga poses that build muscles in your core, legs, and arms (some of which you have probably already done).

Yoga improves posture. 

This one sort of brings together several benefits of practicing yoga. 

Stated earlier, yoga increases strength and flexibility. 

As WebMD puts it, when these two increase, especially core muscle strength, your posture will increase as a result. 

Research done on students suffering from back injuries and abnormalities shows yoga had a positive effect on the functions of their deformed backbones.

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