Yoga has many physical benefits, including improved flexibility, balance and stronger muscles.
Yoga has many mental health benefits, including improving sleep quality, anxiety relief, stress reduction, and better sleep.
Yoga involves moving through various physical positions. There are many types of yoga, from slow and gentle to fast and intense.
Yoga can provide the following benefits for your mental and physical health:
1. Yoga improves flexibility and balance
Yoga teaches flexibility and balance by moving the body in different poses. A small study in 2016 found that male college athletes who practiced yoga twice a week for 10 weeks had greater flexibility and balance than those who didn’t.
Flexibility is crucial for your body’s ability to move and function effectively. Flexibility “stops your muscles pulling against your joints,” states Jennifer Jens a yoga instructor, personal coach, and owner of BeachLIFE Fitness Pensacola, Florida.
Balance is important in order to avoid injury and falls. Yoga can help improve balance because many of the positions require balancing.
2. Yoga builds strength
Yoga uses your body weight to build muscle strength. Jens says that by holding or moving through poses, you can build muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is the ability to perform an exercise multiple times.
A 2015 study showed that adults in China who had practiced Hatha Yoga experienced improvements in their muscle strength and flexibility after just 12 weeks.
Yoga is good for the whole body. However, more strenuous yoga forms, like vinyasa or yin, are more effective at strengthening muscles.
3. Yoga improves heart health
Yoga is not considered a cardio exercise because it doesn’t get your heart rate up as much as running. It does however work your cardiovascular system and keep your heart healthy.
If you move quickly through movements your heart rate increases and you build good cardiovascular endurance over time. Vinyasa Yoga and Ashtanga, which are slower-paced yoga versions that can count towards cardio.
4. Yoga can help ease back pain
An 2011 study showed that three months of yoga helped reduce pain in people suffering from chronic or recurrent low-back pain. This was more than the case for those who received regular care.
Poor posture can sometimes be a cause of back pain. Jens states that yoga can have a major impact on posture. Proper posture can help relieve tensions.
Yoga can improve your posture and alleviate back pain. It also improves flexibility, endurance, and mobility. Yoga poses can engage your back muscles as well as the muscles that connect with them, such as your core.
5. Yoga can help with arthritis symptoms
Arthritis is a condition that causes stiffness and pain. A 2020 review on studies on patients suffering from rheumatoidarthritis showed that yoga had a positive effect on their physical function. Participants were aged between 30 and 70 years old, with 86% being women.
High-impact exercise can cause joint damage and may be avoided by people with arthritis. Jens suggests that yoga is a more effective exercise because it uses only your body weight and can be done at your own pace. Before you start any exercise program, consult your doctor.
6 Yoga can help with weight loss
Yoga does not burn as many calories as cardio. Here are some calories that were burned during the hour-long exercise:
Power yoga: 284 calories
Hatha yoga: 173 calories
Running at a 9-minute-per-mile pace: 976 calories
Biking (at a 14-15.9 mph pace): 888 calories
7. Yoga decreases stress and improves your well-being
Yoga can improve your quality of life in many ways.