Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower levels of the stress hormone cortical. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure, heart rate, improving digestion, boosting immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asana (postures) meditation or a combination of the tow reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga
Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people cant touch their toes during their first yoga class. Gradually they begin to use the correct muscles. Over time the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible. Yoga also helps improve body alignment resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck joint and muscle problems.
Yoga asana (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe and helps relieve muscle tension.
Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self esteem.
Yoga helps to improve circulation and as a result of various poses more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits as lowering resting hear rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Yoga helps to focus on the present, to become more aware and help create mind body health. It opens the way to improve concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
The meditative aspects of yoga help many to reach a deeper more spiritual and more satisfying place in their lives. Many who begin to practice for other reasons have reported this to be a key reason that yoga has become an essential part of their daily lives.