I didn’t chase Yoga to achieve health benefits. It was just a thing and I would see the Yoga studio on my drive to work daily. I’m always open to trying new things. Once I found the right yoga for me, I couldn’t believe the health benefits I was reaping, especially when I started daily practice. My connection to those around me was intense, my happiness and acceptance of life was so profound, and my sore muscles were no more. It was a tool I learned to practice daily in my home to improve my health on all levels-spiritually, mentally, physically.
I was reminded and re-learned many of the health benefits of balancing the nervous system. Gosh I learned this stuff way back in college in the early 1990’s. Here it was again 25 years later! If you’re like me, knowing why I’m doing something reinforces me to do it more! If not, you may still be shocked to learn all the health benefits.
5 Health Benefits of Yoga:
- Improves physical endurance and functional fitness levels. Look at some of those 70 year old yogis. They are limber and fit! That’s my life goal! This benefit comes from doing a nice combo of different yoga classes like Cardio/Vinyasa and Yin. If you aren’t there, start slow and build up!
- Improves Digestion & Hormone Balance by creating balance in the autonomic nervous system: Sympathetic aka fight or flight and parasympathetic aka rest and digest. Being in sympathetic tells our body to increase cortisol, store fat, and drains all our other hormones. On the other hand PSNS helps our GI system to make digestive enzymes, assists digestion and creates balanced hormones. Who doesn’t want balanced hormones?
- Build bone density. Now the studies are not super strong on this, but using your own body weight in poses like downward facing dog certainly is weight bearing. Balancing on one leg in _____pose is surely weight bearing as well!
- Promotes healthy joint health. Tight muscles lead to compression in the joint spaces and that leads to degeneration. This benefit applies to Yin yoga, which supports the stretching of the fascia (stuff that lines the muscles) and takes pressure off the joints.
- Supports a health immune system. This benefit is largely achieved because yoga supports lymphatic flow and healthy lymph aids in a healthy immune system.
Yoga brings about life transformation for many. I believe that happens when we find the right yoga instructor and the right type of yoga. I’m a believer and even better the studies are supporting all the benefits of yoga for the mind and body.
Cheers to Yoga Practice!