While yoga is known for increasing flexibility and toning your muscles in a relaxed environment, the popular stretching exercise can provide you with a whole host of other benefits too. Better immunity, healthier digestion, and increased brain function are just some ways this activity can help improve your quality of life. Keep reading to discover how practicing yoga can benefit your health and well-being.
1. Digestion: There are many yoga poses specifically designed to massage and loosen internal organs and keep things moving. Twisting to the right and then to the left follows the path of digestion and can help your body break down food more efficiently, resulting in more energy for the body and yes, better bowel movements.
2. Curb cravings: Other workouts may be more intense and leave you starving afterward, but the opposite is true for yoga. The mindfulness encouraged by the exercise has been linked to more mindful eating, meaning those who partake in yoga regularly may be less tempted to indulge in cravings for junk foods and instead eat with the purpose of properly fueling their body.
3. Brain function: Exercise, in general, has been linked to better brain function, though yoga is said to stimulate the brain further than what is accomplished by walking or jogging. Co-founder of Yoga Means Business, Jen Kluczkowski, explains “Yoga uses the body and breath as tools to create equanimity and clarity in the mind.”
4. Immunity: The immediate immunity-boosting effects of yoga happen at a cellular level, as changes in gene expression strengthen your immune system. Regular yoga sessions can help build up your immune system and aid in the prevention of colds and viruses.
6. Relaxation: Practicing yoga regularly has been shown to help reduce the level of cortisol—the stress hormone—in your system. Less cortisol can help you achieve better thyroid function, lower blood pressure, and get a more restful sleep.
While yoga is known for its external effects on your body, it can also positively affect internal functions and help you achieve better digestion, brain function, and productivity, while also aiding in strengthening your immune system and lowering cortisol levels. Be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.