Yoga is growing increasingly popular worldwide, due to the mental and physical effects associated with the practice. In the following, we will look at 5 ways yoga can improve your health if you practise it on a regular basis.
1) Improves flexibility
Yoga poses encourage the body to hold stretches for a longer period of time, hence allowing the muscles to experience a deeper stretch. With regular practice, you will experience less muscle tension and more flexibility.
2) Eases back pain
If you experience lower back pain, yoga is recommended as a first-line treatment by the American College of Physicians. Yoga helps to strengthen and stretch back muscles, reduce muscular tension, improve bone strength and build mobility.
3) Helps with stress relief
Yoga uses slow and deep breathing techniques, which help to lower the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in the body. Breathing slowly can also encourage you to practise mindfulness, which can help to combat stress over the long-term.
4) Enhances cognitive skills
Studies using MRI scans have confirmed that yoga practitioners have thicker cerebral cortex (the brain area responsible for information processing) and hippocampus (the brain area involved in learning and memory) than non-practitioners.
5) Improves sleep
As yoga helps with stress relief and calming the mind, it can be beneficial in managing different sleep disorders, such as insomnia. With regular practice, you will experience falling asleep quicker and getting more deep sleep during the night.