The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word for yoke, “yuji.” It is an activity that has been practised since ancient times and is used as a way to focus the mind and body.
This exercise typically utilizes meditation, poses, and breathing exercises that, when combined together promotes relaxation of the body and mind, while noticeably reducing stress!
Regularly practising is believed by many to offer the body and mind many potential benefits. Some of these are backed by facts, while others, not so much.
It is hard to argue against adding this activity to your daily routine, either way. To highlight a few great reasons women should do it every day, we’ve brought together 15 yoga benefits for your body and mind:
15 YOGA BENEFITS:
1. REDUCES FEELINGS OF STRESS
One great reason to make this practice a part of your daily routine is due to its amazing stress reductionabilities!
Quite a few studies have been done that have concluded it has the ability to significantly reduce the hormone primarily responsible for stress, cortisol!
One such study looked at 24 women who felt they were under emotional stress. Following a three month program that included this practice, the women’s cortisol levels were shown to be much lower! As a result, they reported fewer feelings of anxiety and fatigue, and stress and depression symptoms were reduced as well!
2. REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
If you are a particularly anxious person, it may be just the thing you need to get your feelings under wraps! Many practitioners of this great exercise report significant reductions in their anxiety symptoms as a result of starting up the habit!
Much research has been done on this topic, and the results show promise! In one of these studies, 34 women who were diagnosed with anxiety were observed. They took bi-weekly classes over the course of a two month period and, in the end, their anxiety was markedly reduced!
3. REDUCES INFLAMMATION
Aside from some of the mental benefits of this amazing practice, it has the possibility to lower your body’s inflammation!
If you’re unfamiliar with inflammation, it is a normal function of your body’s immune system. Too much inflammation though, and you are at risk of developing many inflammatory diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease!
During one study, people who regularly practised this were compared to those who didn’t. At the study’s conclusion, it was found that those who regularly practised had much lower levels of inflammation than those that didn’t!
4. IMPROVES THE HEALTH OF YOUR HEART
Another great reason to adopt this daily habit is that it has been found to be beneficial to the health of your heart! Heart health is vitally important. A healthy functioning heart ensures that your body is being adequately supplied the essential nutrients it needs!
One study looked at regular practitioners over the age of 40 who had stuck with the habit for 5 years or more. It was observed that members of this group of individuals had noticeably lower heart rates and blood pressure!
It is also believed that it has the ability to slow down heart disease progression, according to some research!
5. IMPROVES YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
No matter how happy and great your life already is, further improving the quality of your life is always a great objective to set your mind to! If you’re seeking out improvements to the quality of your life then consider adopting this regular practice!
Researchers looked at 135 seniors and separated them into 3 different groups. One group was to walk for 6 months, another was to practice yoga, and the other was designated the control group. At the end of the study, it was found that those who maintained this practice were in much better moods, less fatigued, and felt their quality of life had been improved more overall, than those of the other groups!
6. REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
If you find yourself feeling down in the dumps more often than not, consider adopting this daily practice!
Plenty of research has been done which has shown that it can have a anti-depressant effect and may reduce symptoms of depression in many!
Some studies show that it may have an anti-depressant effect and could help decrease symptoms of depression.
Due to it’s potential to reduce your levels of cortisol, depression symptoms are reported to be lower in many individuals! Following one study, after two weeks of regular practice, levels of cortisol and depression symptoms were noted to be lower in study participants!
7. REDUCES CHRONIC PAIN
If you suffer from chronic pain, this may be just what you need to start feeling better! With millions of people suffering from chronic pain, the need for a natural, holistic, method of relief is a greatly needed!
Lots of research is being done on this topic, and this practice is showing signs of being a great way of accomplishing this task!
In one of these studies, 42 participants who suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome were either instructed to wear a wrist splint, or practice this amazing exercise for 2 months. Following the study’s conclusion, it was found that those who wore the wrist splint realized pain relief and improvements to their physical function to a lesser degree than those who did the exercise!
8. IMPROVES YOUR SLEEP QUALITY
Sleep and sleep quality should be a priority in everyone’s life! It’s often found these days that people put sleep on the back burner, prioritizing other aspects of their life instead, much to their detriment!
Not getting enough quality sleep has been shown to increase the likelihood of one developing high blood pressure, depression, obesity, and a variety of other ailments!
A few studies have been done on yoga’s practice and it was found that it had the ability to improve the quality of your sleep!
9. IMPROVES YOUR BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
Another aspect of our lives that is often overlooked is our balance and flexibility. This is a mistake though, especially as we age! Having solid balance significantly reduces our chances of falling and injuring ourselves as we age, and improving your flexibility is another great way to minimize chances of an injury.
In one study, 66 senior participants were instructed to either do this exercise, or another form of body weight exercise. Following a year of this activity, flexibility was improved by up to 4 times in the group who did yoga!
10. IMPROVES YOUR BREATHING
A focus on the breath and on breathing exercises is a key aspect of yoga’s practice. Quite a few studies have been done which found this focus on the breath may offer you improved breathing overall!
In one of these studies, 287 students took a class over the course of 15 weeks where yoga’s breathing exercises and poses were practised. Following the study’s conclusion, their vital capacity was improved dramatically!
In a similar study, yoga’s breathing exercises was determined to improve the function of the lungs and the symptoms in those who suffered from asthma!
11. OFFERS RELIEF FROM MIGRAINES
If you are 1 out of 7 of Americans that suffer from migraines, consider adopting this regular practice! Another one of the amazing ways yoga benefits you is be potentially helping in alleviating symptoms of migraines.
Research has been done which shows that it may useful when used as a supplemental therapy, alongside migraine medication.
As a part of one of these studies, 72 individuals who suffered from migraines were either instructed to take up this regular practice, or conduct a form of self-care for three months. The results showed that those who maintained regular practice had noticeable reductions in the intensity of their migraines. These headaches also occurred less frequently and were much less painful than in those who simply did self-care.
12. ENCOURAGES HEALTHY EATING
Another way yoga benefits you is by making you more mindful, particularly when it comes to eating. Being more mindful is a great thing in general, but by practicing mindful eating you will likely find you enjoy your meals much more, and end up eating less in the process!
By being more present and mindful while enjoying a meal, you’ll find you begin adopting more healthy eating habits, which result in faster weight loss, and better blood sugar regulation.
In one study, it was found the way it benefits you is by reducing binge eating and weight, while increasing physical activity!
13. IMPROVES YOUR STRENGTH
Another one of the many yoga benefits is it’s potential to improve your strength! When combined with a regular exercise routine, you’ll find that you get stronger, faster!
There are poses that are actually designed with the purpose of building muscle and improving your strength!
One study had participants doing these poses six days a week over the course of six months. At the end of the study, endurance and upper body strength were improved, and weight loss often occurred! Women also had the extra benefit of decreased body fat!
14. IMPROVES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Regularly practising this amazing exercise lowers your stress hormones, which goes on to improve the function of your immune system! It also goes on to make you more mindful, which will likely result in you paying more attention to the foods you eat. As a result of eating better, your immune system will be fortified!
15. IMPROVES YOUR FOCUS
The last reason we have for you to adopt this daily practice is that it may help improve your mind’s ability to focus. As a part of this practice, there is the concept of drishti, our your view. It has you focus on your drishti, which as a result makes you better at focusing on your daily tasks!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON YOGA’S BENEFITS
After reading through this, you should have plenty of reason to adopt this daily practice! Women, especially, can benefit regularly from sticking to a daily routine that includes this great exercise!
There is a solid foundation of research which supports these benefit, making omitting this activity a real mistake!
Try to set aside a little time each day in order to incorporate this regular practice into your day!