With the choice between a high-energy exercise class or doing yoga, you may opt for the first, questioning how much you can benefit from yoga. Though yoga is slower paced and concentrates heavily on improving mental health, there are physical health benefits of yoga as well.
Improves your flexibility
You may walk into your first yoga class not even being able to touch your toes, but with time and practice, your flexibility with gradually improve. Attending class at least two or three times a week will allow your muscles to slowly loosen and stretch. This will also reduce, and in some cases eliminate, pain or soreness when stretching.
Improves your posture
Improving your posture can eliminate fatigue that results from strained muscles. Poor posture can cause strain in your back and neck, thus making it difficult for your body to support your head.
Increases your blood flow
The relaxation exercises you learn during yoga improve your blood circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also helps oxygen get to your cells, thus helping them function better. Each position in yoga assist with blood flow to different areas of the body. For example, a headstand or handstand helps blood from the legs flow better to the heart where it can be pumped to the lungs to assist with breathing.
Improves your mood
Yoga concentrates heavily on deep meditation and steady breathing, both that are said to improve a person’s well-being. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration,” said Dr. Nevin, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.
Builds muscle strength
Some opt for lifting weights at the gym in order to increase muscle strength, but the increase of both muscle strength and flexibility through yoga creates a balance. By simply lifting weights, you’re sacrificing flexibility for muscles. Strong muscles also protect from conditions such as back pain and arthritis.