Health Benefits of Yoga, Part 2

Yoga has been practiced for centuries for its health benefits and for its ability to promote well-being. In recent years, study after study has confirmed that yoga can play an invaluable role in promoting your psychological and physical well-being. In our previous post we spent some time explaining three health benefits of regularly attending yoga classes. In this blog post, we’ll continue looking at the health benefits of regular yoga practice.

Arthritis Relief

Achy joints? Yoga can help with that! Yoga is a low-impact form of physical movement that can help you keep your joints limber and pain-free. While studies are still being performed on yoga’s direct effects on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the initial results look promising. A recent and rigorous study performed by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center demonstrated remarkable benefits for sedentary adults who regularly participated in yoga classes. The positive effects of yoga lasted for over nine months and significantly improved the wellbeing of the participants. If you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, be sure to consult your doctor before taking up yoga.

Insomnia Relief

If you have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, you should consider attending yoga classes instead of immediately turning to prescription drugs. As we discussed in our last post, if you’re regularly stressed out, your cortisol levels might be elevated and causing you to have sleep problems. Sleep is essential to your health and well-being, and regularly attending yoga classes has been shown to promote both relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

Depression and anxiety can both cause you to have problems sleeping, and the good news is that yoga can help you with both! Many studies have shown that you can reduce your stress levels and alleviate the symptoms of depression by taking the time to focus on your breathing, which is a central component of practicing yoga. Regular yoga practice trains the mind to be less focused on the past and on the future, allowing you to become centered in the present moment. Focusing on your breathing and learning to be mindful are some of the best ways of putting a restless mind to ease at night.

Increased Blood Flow

The stretching, relaxation, and the focus on full-body engagement of yoga can significantly improve your blood flow. When your blood is flowing efficiently, your cells receive more oxygen and are more nourished as a result. Improved blood flow can be particularly beneficial for people suffering from heart and kidney problems, as it reduces the chance of harmful blood clots forming. If you’re an advanced practitioner looking for a real challenge, try doing some inverted poses with the help of one of our yoga instructors. Inverted poses like the handstand promote blood flow from the feet and legs into the heart.

Wilmington Yoga Center in North Carolina offers yoga training for beginners, intermediate students, and advanced practitioners. We also offer yoga teacher training classes. If you’re interested in becoming a yoga instructor, don’t miss our Mindfulness + the Eightfold Path Teacher Training Program beginning in February, 2018.

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