What are the benefits of yoga?

Fitness  |  By
Yoga may not be the first thing many of us think of when we want to improve our health, weight or wellbeing. It has a reputation for being alternative or too gentle to have any significant impact.
But think again. More and more science is showing that it can offer many benefits. So, what are the benefits of Yoga?

Improves your core strength

Yoga is famous for strengthening your core muscles. This supports the bones and ligaments of your spine and improves posture. Yoga can be a valuable tool in helping lower back pain. Of course, if you have back pain, make sure your yoga teacher is aware, so you don’t do anymore damage. A qualified teacher can tailor your yoga regime to suit you.

what are the benefits of yoga? - woman rolling out a yoga mat, with bare feet and leggings on.

Helps with depression

Mindfulness is a word you may have heard a lot lately. Yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness. This is because you need to concentrate on getting your body in the correct position and you can’t think of much else. Studies have shown yoga to be beneficial in managing depressive symptoms.

Leads to better breathing

A large component of yoga is a focus on good breathing techniques. Breathing exercises in yoga help improve the strength and flexibility of the chest muscles. They also improve the alignment of the ribs and spine. It can also help improve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate asthma, along with improving the functioning of their lungs. [1]

Is good for your heart health

If you have a heart condition, yoga can help to deal with stress and in turn, your condition. The breathing exercises bring more oxygen into the body and reduce blood pressure. A study named ‘a review of yoga and cardiovascular disease’ states yoga may help lower heart disease risk as much as brisk walking. [2]

Can stabilise cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone related with chronic stress. Too much puts you at risk of developing diabetes and adds to the risk of heart disease. Several studies have shown that yoga can reduce stress levels, and with it the cortisol.

Why choose yoga over more vigorous exercise?

You may think that the more high intensity exercise you do, the better, when it comes to getting fit. But actually, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that a mix of exercise is best. Resistance and strength exercises like yoga, help preserve muscle and flexibility.
So, whether you are starting out or hitting the gym for an hour a day, it’s worth giving yoga a try after all.

Check out this link for a list of yoga lessons you can do from the safety of your own home!

If you would like to read more about wellbeing, then try our blog on dealing with stress.

  1. Does Yoga Improve Breathing? An In-Depth Breakdown (Must Read) (yogaveler.com)
  2. Yoga and how it can benefit you – BHF

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