touching toes

Benefits of Yoga

By Ryan Brooks

Yoga has become very popular over the last few years. It seems to be a trend that is here to stay. But, like most people, you might be a little hesitant to jump on the  “bandwagon”. Yoga has many different health benefits. Today, we are going to look 6 of those health benefits.

  1. Stress Management – Stress can have a devastating effect on the human body and mind. Stress can cause you to have pain, trouble sleeping, inability to concentrate, and many more negative side effects. Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and having a more positive outlook on life. (1)
  1. Immune-System Boost – Yoga stretches muscles and moves your organs around, increasing the drainage of lymph. The drainage of lymph helps the lymphatic system fight infections, kill cancer cells, and dispose of toxic waste products in the body. (2)
  1. Heart Disease Improvement – In some studies, an 8-week yoga program has increased patients’ capacity to exercise, heart health, and overall quality of life. Yoga also reduces heart disease and arterial plaque. (3)
  1. Mental Health/Well-being Improvement – Meditation and breathing is incorporated in yoga. This helps for creating mental clarity and calmness, centered attention, and body awareness. Having self-awareness can also help in detecting any physical problems early, allowing for early preventative actions. (1)
  1. Lowered Blood Sugar – For those with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in multiple ways. Yoga lowers blood sugar by decreasing cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving insulin sensitivity. All of this helps decrease heart attack, kidney failure, blindness, and other diabetic complications. (2)
  1. Asthma Improvement – In some studies, and 8-week yoga program has improved asthma symptoms. Yoga uses pranayama, also known as breathing practice. Pranayama has been shown to ease symptoms of asthma. (3)

Yoga

 

(1) http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/yoga.aspx

(2) http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

(3) http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/10-surprising-health-perks-of-yoga.aspx