In order to live a healthy lifestyle, its necessary to include some form of exercise in your daily routine. In the early 21st century, yoga became increasingly popular in the United States and has since become a staple in the lives of many. Millions of people practice some form of yoga every day and receive many benefits from the exercise, both in body and mind.
Improved emotional health
Scholars have spent countless hours studying the benefits of exercise on mental health, and yoga has definitely been included in this discussion. According to a study from Duke University Medical Center, those who suffer from schizophrenia, depression or other psychiatric conditions could benefit from daily yoga routines. The group setting of a yoga class increases certain hormone levels, such as oxytocin and serotonin, to improve overall mood and happiness. Yoga has been linked to being one of the most effective methods of improving sleep for those suffering from insomnia as well.
Back pain reliever
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic lower back pain and many have struggled to find relief through surgeries or medicines. Unfortunately, these methods dont always work. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that those living with lower back pain stated they were experiencing improved back function, less disability and greater flexibility after a few months of practicing yoga.
When it comes to treating back pain, its important to start with a beginners yoga routine, to avoid injury or overexertion.
Improved circulation and blood flow
Just as any exercise increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing, yoga does so without having to run for miles or perform the dreaded burpee. As you move the body in various poses and become more flexible, the passageways for blood open up. Certain inverted poses, such as the headstand or handstand, allow blood to flow from the legs back up to the heart where it can be freshly oxygenated and sent back through the body. Yoga also thins the blood and reduces the potential of clots, which are often the cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Eases digestive problems
Many suffer from digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation or ulcers, sometimes caused or exacerbated by stress. Yoga encourages the act of mindfulness, or reaching peace within ones self. This is done through meditation techniques that are often included in many yoga routines and classes. Simple breathing exercises can drastically reduce stress levels and ease the pain or potentially remove the aforementioned digestive problems. Easing constipation can theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer because as you move the body, it facilitates a more rapid transport of food through the bowels.
Arthritis pain reliever
In a study conducted at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, it was reported that iyengar yoga was beneficial for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Iyengar yoga is the process of including props within a mild yoga routine. These props can vary from blocks, belts or other positioning aids that can improve mobility and stability. Gentle movement is helpful for arthritis, so iyengar yoga is perfect for those suffering with the disorder.
The health benefits of yoga are plentiful and can help improve your overall lifestyle. It may be worth taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to sit down and stretch those aching muscles from time to time.