The Benefits of Yoga

yogaYoga has become increasingly popular in recent years.  With the benefits described below, no wonder it is becoming part of the daily routine of so many.

1.  Flexibility

Safely stretching your muscles releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue.  Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body.

2.  Strength

Many poses such as downward dog, upward dog, and plank pose build upper body strength.  The standing poses build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles.

3.  Posture

Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength.  With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand “tall.”

4.  Breathing

Deepening and lengthening your breath stimulates the relaxation response.

5.   Less stress, more calm

Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress.

6.  Concentration and mood

Concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits of yoga.  The same is true with mood.  It may  help depression due to boosting oxygen levels to the brain.  Yoga is also being studied as a therapy to relieve symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

7.  Heart benefits

Yoga lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate.  A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.  It also boosts the immune system.

8.  Effects on other medical conditions

Yoga relieves symptoms of asthma, back pain, and arthritis.

Taking an intense power yoga class  in a heated room can provide an aerobic benefit.  I recently tried the yoga center which offers multiple hot yoga classes.  The room is heated, creating a sauna like atmosphere.  This causes you to sweat even more, which detoxifies the body.  You leave feeling refreshed and energized.  I highly recommend it.

Angie Noble is a Master Stylist at Mode Salon