Yoga isn’t the latest workout technique out there. Many Eastern cultures have been doing yoga for thousands of years. The practice is believed to have started in ancient India during the 5th and 6th centuries. After some time, some movement was also added to the practice of yoga and it evolved toward the more physical practice of yoga we know today like Hatha, vinyasa, Bikram, and others.
Whether trendy or traditional, no matter the style you choose to practice, you’ll still experience some of the most fundamental health benefits of yoga.
Health benefits of yoga are:
1. Sleep better
Like most physical activities, yoga helps improve your quality of sleep. There are even certain postures (like spinal twists, cat-cow, reclined butterfly and child’s pose) and meditation practices (yoga Nidra) you can do before bedtime to relax your body.
2. Get stronger
Regular sun salutations — the sequence of the plank, chaturanga, upward-facing dog and downward-facing dog — has a profound impact on upper body strength. Yoga poses like a crescent lunge, chair pose, and warrior postures help increase leg strength.
3. Lose weight
We encourage you to move every day to help you reach your goals — especially if that goal is to lose weight. In between our HIIT workouts, add extra movements like walking, biking, or yoga. The low-impact movement will do your body good and help you reach your goals.
4. Decrease stress levels
Yoga teaches breathing techniques and stress coping mechanisms that you can take into your day-to-day life. Try this: If you’re feeling stressed, take 10 deep and deliberate breaths, focusing on feeling your breath enter and leave your body. After this, your head should feel clearer and your nerves calmed.
5. Balance the body
In addition to increasing flexibility and bringing relief to sore muscles, yoga also helps balance the body. Think about last time you held a stretch: did one side of your body feel tighter than the other? Sitting with our legs crossed, carrying our bag on a certain shoulder, or doing the same workout day in and day out creates imbalances in our bodies — something a regular yoga practice can improve.
6. Improve posture
In creating all of that balance and strength, your posture is sure to improve with a regular yoga practice. Part of this postural improvement comes from the increase in core strength, part from back and shoulder strength, and part from having a deeper understanding of what it means to feel proper alignment.
7. Boost your immune system
Things like stress and overworking the body can weaken your immune system and increase inflammation. Yoga does wonder to reduce stress hormones and all that moving, stretching and twisting can help ease inflammation, improve digestion and even help with congestion.
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