Derived from the sanscrit word yuj which means a yoke or union *, yoga has been around for thousands of years, and in recent decades has been more widely practiced in the west. The union associated with yoga has to deal with the mind and body and when one practices yoga on a regular basis, several mind-body benefits can ensue. The reasons why you should consider doing yoga are vast which we’ll delve into throughout this post.
Stress Reduction-There are studies that prove that yoga can reduce the stress hormone cortizal. * Cross-sectional observation done among three groups showed that individuals practicing yoga regularly had low serum cortisol levels, HAM-A scale and ZSDS scores, and better periodontal health. * Further, Participation in a two-month yoga class can lead to significant reduction in perceived levels of anxiety in women who suffer from anxiety disorders.*
Flexibility Improvement-Noticing improvement in flexibility is one of the first traits that one notices when practicing yoga. * With continued practice comes a gradual loosening of the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the bones and joints; this is thought to be one reason that yoga is associated with reduced aches and pains. *
Respiratory Improvement-By practicing yoga, your overall breathing can be improved as well. A study which included an 8-week yoga intervention targeting healthy inactive middle-aged people improved overall respiratory and physical functions. * In addition, diaphragmatic breathing is facilitated by yoga, thereby influencing movement stability and overall respiratory function such that participants were able to withstand a higher activity load in the short term. In this study, merely practicing an asana (yogic exercise) once a week was beneficial. *
These benefits mentioned are reasons alone as to why you should strongly consider incorporating yoga into your weekly, if not daily, routine. As always, please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medical, dietary, and/or exercise regimen.
*Sources- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329219/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/#ref5, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871291/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4784068/