7 Amazing Health Benefits of Yoga

7 Amazing Health Benefits of Yoga

Have you ever viewed yoga with narrow lenses, as merely an optional extension of a more heart-pounding workout? If you answered yes, you are in for a huge shock! Yoga is powerful on its own in providing amazing physical and mental health benefits.

1. Lowers Blood Pressure

A 2014 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that the yoga type, Pranayama, lowers hypertension more effectively than medication. One explanation for this is that this form of yoga reduces inflammation and eliminates toxins. Pranayama centers around various breathing techniques performed during yoga stances. Four Pranayama breathing types include bellow breath, victorious breath, alternating nostril breath, and humming breath. Other yoga moves that work well to lower blood pressure include the Downward Dog and the Bridge pose.

2. Increases Flexibility

Anyone who has ever felt soreness of muscles following an intense workout knows the importance of stretching. The purpose of stretching is to build flexibility that allows range of motion. This reduces the risk of injury caused by muscles and tendons that have become overtightened or loosened.

3. Treats Low Back Pain

Did you know that The American College of Physicians has placed yoga at the top of the list for treating low back pain? Yoga heals back pain by strengthening abdominal and leg muscles, as well as improving balance, posture, and flexibility. Specific yoga moves that are good for the lower back include the Cat-Cow and Tree poses.

4. Alleviates Headaches

Yoga moves, such as Uttanasana, resolve headaches by increasing blood flow to the brain since the head is held beneath the heart. You perform Uttanasana by bending forward at the waist while standing and reaching for your ankles, toes, or the floor. You then hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

5. Reduces Arthritis

If you suffer from arthritis, you will greatly benefit from yoga. Yoga moves such as the spinal twist, Exalted and Proud Warrior poses and bridge pose to strengthen your hips, knees, and back. Try the forearm side plank to also strengthen your hip abductors and realign your hips from a downward tilt to an upward tilt.

6. Improves Stomach Health

Yoga can help a temporary abdominal issue such as constipation or a chronic abdominal issue such as liver disease. Yoga improves blood circulation in your stomach by rushing oxygen to your cells and tissues. Specific yoga moves that will improve your gut health include the Cat-Cow pose, the Bridge pose and the Corpse pose.

7. Improves Mental Health

Yoga provides the mental health benefits of decreasing anxiety and depression. National Institutes of Health released a 2013 study, which revealed that test takers who practiced Pranayama yoga had a significant reduction in anxiety. Essentially, yoga increases emotional regulation so that you are better able to deal with stress. Further, to treat depression, try Uttanasana yoga.

The main takeaway is that yoga not only serves as a supplemental warm-up and cool-down routine, but it possesses powerful healing properties. It pays to find yoga programs tailored toward resolving the above-mentioned physical and mental conditions. Incorporating yoga into your fitness regimen can enhance flexibility, strength, and balance, making it an excellent complement to more traditional exercise routines.