I can’t believe that we haven’t talked about the benefits of yoga on our blog before. I think we overlooked it because we probably assumed everyone was aware of them already. Not so much. I have talked to five – count them 5 – people in the last week who have only just discovered it. While the list of benefits of yoga is long, I am going to focus on four here.
Yoga and stress relief
Many of us are plagued by stress related to work, money, and relationships. Over time, chronic stress can lead to physical tension in our body leaving us nervous, short of breath, and even at risk for chronic illness. Taking even a few minutes a day to practice basic yoga moves can provide a mental and physical break from stress.
Yoga helps with mental health
The chronic stress we mentioned can lead to other problems. Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health issues people are facing today. For many patients living with these or other mental health concerns, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms. It allows us to become an active participant in mitigating problems.
Yoga helps manage pain
Research has revealed that practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain (2).
Yoga helps mobility and balance
As we age, we can lose mobility and balance. Yoga can help improve both of these things which will reduce the risk of injury and falls. It also helps us maintain good range of motion that we need for everyday activities.
Yoga does not have to be extreme. If you have not tried a gentle form of yoga before and would like to take a first step, we recommend this online resource. It’s free and you can stream it in the comfort of your own home. It will allow you to choose by level, instructor, or even length of yoga session.
1. Publishing, H. H. (n.d.). Yoga for anxiety and depression. Retrieved October 06, 2017, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
2. Villemure C, Ceko M, Cotton VA, Bushnell MC. Insular cortex mediates incrased pain tolerance in yoga practitioners. Cerebral Cortex. 2013