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Breathe, Exhale, Repeat: 9 Amazing Benefits of Yoga

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Yoga is an ancient practice that combines various postures with proper breathing technique for mental relaxation and physical and emotional health. The popularity of yoga keeps increasing as people gradually realize how important it is to their overall well-being.

When it comes to yoga, it is suitable for all age groups, both men, and women, and you can do it regardless of your fitness status. If you don’t practice yoga, you’re missing out. Here are nine amazing benefits that will inspire you to get started.

Stronger immune system

Norwegian scientists whose study was published in the journal PLoS One discovered that regular yoga practice leads to changes in gene expression, thus boosting the immunity at the cellular level. It doesn’t even take ages for yoga to exhibit these benefits; scientists believe that participants experienced the immune-boosting effect while they were still on their mats.

Participants in the yoga group experienced much greater benefits than their counterparts from the control group which was assigned to listening to soothing music. The Strong immune system protects you from viruses and infections, practicing yoga may be the easiest way to give your immunity a boost.

Migraine relief

Migraines are indicated by throbbing, pulsing, and severe pain on one or both sides of the bed, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and other symptoms. All these symptoms affect a person’s ability to work, study, or do everyday activities.

Fortunately, it is possible to deal with migraines and yoga is a natural way to do so. Evidence shows that migraine sufferers have fewer and less painful migraines after only three months of practice. For people who deal with a migraine, a healthy lifestyle is an important strategy to avoid triggers, and yoga inspires you to make healthier and wiser decisions.

Arthritis management

People with arthritis are usually told to participate in low impact activities in order to feel better and improve flexibility. Yoga belongs to the group of low impact activities and it is, definitely, one of the best home remedies for arthritis along with healthy diet enriched with anti-inflammatory foods.

One study found that eight weeks of yoga classes improved the physical and mental well-being of people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. More precisely, people who practiced yoga reported a 20% improvement in pain, energy levels, mental and physical function, and the ability to perform physical tasks at home and work.

Emotional health

Not only is a physical activity (including yoga) beneficial for your physical health, but it does wonders for emotional health at the same time. What makes yoga different is that everyone can do it. A study from Duke University Medical Center found that yoga benefits individuals with depression, schizophrenia, and people with other psychiatric and sleep problems. Yoga is usually practiced in a group setting, which increases the production of oxytocin and serotonin, both of which are hormones necessary for good and positive mood.

Sexual performance boost

Regular yoga practice improves multiple aspects of sexual function in ladies including desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction. In one study, 12-week yoga program was strongly associated with improvements in female sexual function including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and overall satisfaction.

One of the best yoga poses for better sexual functioning is bound angle pose (baddha konasana), which engages pelvic floor muscles and tones them in order to intensify orgasms.

Treatment for back pain

We tend to ignore back pain until it becomes more frequent and affects our overall quality of life. If you struggle with pain in your back, then yoga is the perfect type of activity for you. It features gentle motions from one posture to another without forming too much pressure on your back.

In a study whose findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, participants living with chronic lower back pain reported improved back function. In fact, yoga produced more benefits than the usual care.

Weight loss

Yoga isn’t some intense physical activity, which is why we don’t associate it with weight loss. But, scientists did find a strong connection between this ancient practice and weight management. For instance, scientists from the University of Arizona discovered that yoga is an appropriate and potentially successful intervention for weight maintenance, prevention of obesity, and reduction of risk for diseases where obesity plays a crucial role.

Moreover, a research from the American Journal of Managed Care featured a study which showed that women who practiced restorative yoga for 12 weeks lost more subcutaneous fat compared to women in the stretching group. Also, ladies who practiced yoga managed to keep off their weight loss i.e. they didn’t regain lost pounds.

Benefits of yoga for weight loss go beyond postures and physical activity, it also encourages you to be more mindful. As a result, you don’t adhere to a sedentary lifestyle, pay more attention to the things you eat and strive to make healthier choices. You also start hydrating more and realize that the health benefits of drinking water are numerous. Even your sleep pattern improves.

Asthma relief

One of the lesser known benefits of yoga is its positive effect on people with asthma. In a study of 57 adults with mild-to-moderate asthma, adding an 8-week yoga session to their conventional care significantly improved symptoms they experienced. Yoga practice was associated with lower frequency of use of rescue medication as well, according to the findings published in the BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

Insomnia management

Struggling with insomnia? Sign up for a yoga class! Scientists from Harvard discovered that 8 weeks of daily yoga practice notably improved sleep quality for people with insomnia. How? That’s because yoga has a unique ability to calm your body and mind and induce a relaxation effect. It is also important to mention that one study found twice-weekly yoga sessions helped cancer survivors sleep better and feel less fatigued.

Conclusion

Yoga is incredibly popular nowadays and its reputation is well-deserved. Benefits of yoga are numerous and they show that this is not just a common practice of repeating certain movements – yoga is a lifestyle. With so many benefits for physical, emotional, and mental health you should definitely get started with yoga.

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