9 Advantages to Practicing Yoga Regularly
Coming from someone who has to make decisions on the fly if I really need whatever I just dropped because of how inflexible I am, yoga just seems silly.
But the more I practice yoga, I've felt better physically, emotionally, and I have started to see some mobility progress. Yoga is great because I can do it at night or in the morning and it helps you recover from weight lifting or a long day. Since yoga is great for recovery, that means you don't have to cut any exercises or figure out a way to work it into your routine.
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So if you are looking to start making some great progress on your stress relief and you want to improve your flexibility some, let's check out the 9 advantages to daily yoga practice.
Why Do Regular Yoga?
1.) It's a Great Stress Relief
I'm certainly not a professional at yoga and I definitely don't wear yoga pants, but there are plenty of studies published that suggest yoga reduces stress.
In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that yoga has an "effective role in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression." In a national survey, 85% of adults in the U.S. reported less stress as a result of performing yoga.
2.) You'll Sleep Better
Since yoga relieves stress, it shouldn't be a surprise that it helps you sleep better. Studies show that long-term yoga practice can be associated with a better sleep quality and fewer disturbances throughout the night.
Yoga helps ease the mind and also helps burn excess energy that could keep you up at night.
3.) It Helps with Pain
Pain and mobility issues are what got me started in yoga. I am in front of a computer for 18 hours per day and I sit.
If you are stuck in front of a computer for your job, chances are you have a less-than-ideal posture. You know those afternoon headaches you get? Mine were related to poor posture.
The Harvard Medical School suggests that yoga can help alleviate chronic pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia, can help alleviate migraines, and help with low-back pain.
My back and neck pain has improved and my mobility increases.
4.) It Makes You Happier
Happiness seems like it is unattainable with so many stressors in our lives. Our goals aren't being met, we're dealing with family issues, and we definitely don't seem to go one day before something catastrophic happens.
There are a lot of things that affect your happiness. Luckily, yoga helps with quite a few of them. Along with the physical benefits of yoga, studies suggest that it can improve your mood, self-esteem, confidence, and gives you a greater feeling of life satisfaction.
I've got a lot of pretty bad stress going on in my life right now, but yoga keeps me grounded and present.
5.) Flexibility and Posture
I know most of you perverts know that yoga can improve flexibility. Improving mobility and flexibility in your body helps your body move more efficiently.
As you stick with yoga, you'll start nailing more advanced poses, or if you are like me you will be able to tie your shoes easier. The increased strength, flexibility, and body awareness carry over into the gym and in everyday life.
You won't have to remind yourself to maintain an erect posture — it will happen naturally.
6.) It's Healthy "You Time"
You know how people always tell you to take some time for yourself? This is a great activity to do so.
It can be hard to carve out time for yourself so you can focus on your health and wellness. A simple 15-minute session at home or an hour-long intense session at your favorite studio are both quality time to spend.
You owe it to yourself.
7.) You'll Notice Increased Energy and Cognitive Function
Research has proven that exercise increases our energy. A study by the University of Waterloo found that participants who performed 25 minutes of hatha yoga every day boosted their energy levels and brain function.
Along with improved memory and general cognitive functions, your emotional responses, thinking patterns, and executive functions all improve.
8.) It Helps Build Muscle
If you think yoga is just stretching, you're sadly mistaken. I made that assumption, but it's a pretty serious workout.
If you think squats are hard, try to hold your wobbly body in various postures and trying to hold yourself up. It's kind of like playing a glorified game of Twister.
So along with being a solid bodyweight workout, your muscles will recover faster from lifting weights.
It's a win-win.
9.) Your Immune System Is Boosted
Some newer research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine took a look at the effects of yoga on the immune system. It found that practicing yoga regularly can boost your immune system and decrease the chronic inflammation in your body.
Inflammation is one of the root causes for disease, so decreasing this inflammation is paramount to your overall health.
Wrapping It Up
If you don't get into meditation or you don't understand how yoga helps your mind, you should really check it out.
That stress, the pains in our back and neck, our posture and our cognitive abilities are all positively affected from doing yoga. Pop a beginner video up on YouTube and enjoy it.
There's no judging, just do your best and focus on improving.