If you’re a passionate yoga practitioner, you’ve probably noticed the benefits of yoga. Maybe you’re sleeping better or getting fewer colds or just feeling more relaxed and at ease. But if you’ve ever tried telling a newbie about the benefits of yoga, you might find that explanations like “It increases the flow of prana” or “It brings energy up your spine” fall on deaf or skeptical ears.

As it happens, Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. Once you understand them, you’ll have even more motivation to step onto your mat, and you probably won’t feel so tongue-tied the next time someone asks you why you spend time on your mat.

Heart Health

Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.

When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. 

Helps You Sleep Better And Relax

Research show that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. It can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Manage Stress

According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep. When used alone or along with other methods of alleviating stress, such as meditation, yoga can be a powerful way to keep stress in check.

Improve Strength, Balance and Flexibility

Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.

During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.

Relief Back Pain

Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.

Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga.

Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.

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