It's National Yoga Month, practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health. If you want to celebrate National Yoga Month with us, you can sign up for Deep Stretch.
Here is a list of 10 benefits of yoga.
1. Can Decrease Stress & Relieves Anxiety Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation. In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. 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.
2. May Reduce Inflammation In addition to improving your mental health, some studies suggest that practicing yoga may reduce inflammation as well. Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Although more research is needed to confirm the beneficial effects of yoga on inflammation, these findings indicate that it may help protect against certain diseases caused by chronic inflammation.
3. Could Improve Heart Health From pumping blood throughout the body to supplying tissues with important nutrients, the health of your heart is an essential component of overall health. Studies show that yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease. Some research also suggests that incorporating yoga into a healthy lifestyle could help slow the progression of heart disease. It’s unclear how much of a role yoga may have had versus other factors like diet. Yet it can minimize stress, one of the major contributors to heart disease.
4. May Fight Depression Some studies show that yoga may have an anti-depressant effect and could help decrease symptoms of depression. This may be because yoga is able to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that influences levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter often associated with depression
5 Could Reduce Chronic Pain Chronic pain is a persistent problem that affects millions of people and has a range of possible causes, from injuries to arthritis. There is a growing body of research demonstrating that practicing yoga could help reduce many types of chronic pain. In one study, 42 individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome either received a wrist splint or did yoga for eight weeks. At the end of the study, yoga was found to be more effective in reducing pain and improving grip strength than wrist splinting.
6. Could Promote Sleep Quality Poor sleep quality has been associated with high blood pressure and depression, among other disorders. Studies show that incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep. Though the way it works is not clear, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Yoga also has a significant effect on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and stress — all common contributors to sleep problems.
7. Improves Flexibility and Balance Many people add yoga to their fitness routine to improve flexibility and balance. There is considerable research that backs this benefit, demonstrating that it can optimize performance through the use of specific poses that target flexibility and balance. Practicing just 15–30 minutes of yoga each day could make a big difference for those looking to enhance performance by increasing flexibility and balance.
8. Could Help Improve Breathing Pranayama, or yogic breathing, is a practice in yoga that focuses on controlling the breath through breathing exercises and techniques. Most types of yoga incorporate these breathing exercises, and several studies have found that practicing yoga could help improve breathing. Improving breathing can help build endurance, optimize performance and keep your lungs and heart healthy.
9. May Relieve Migraines Migraines are severe recurring headaches that affect an estimated 1 out of 7 Americans each year. Traditionally, migraines are treated with medications to relieve and manage symptoms. However, increasing evidence shows that yoga could be a useful adjunct therapy to help reduce migraine frequency. Researchers suggest that doing yoga may help stimulate the vagus nerve, which has been shown to be effective in relieving migraines.
10. Can Increase Strength In addition to improving flexibility, yoga is a great addition to an exercise routine for its strength-building benefits. In fact, there are specific poses in yoga that are designed to increase strength and build muscle.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, the benefits of yoga are endless. You can gain some of those benefits by joining us for Deep Stretch. How will you be celebrating National Yoga Month?