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9 Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Yoga is the ancient practice of bringing together the mind and body through gentle, controlled movement, breathing exercises and meditation. Practicing yoga comes with many benefits not only for your body, but your mind too.

Why practice yoga?

1) Yoga can relieve your stress

Multiple studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can actually decrease levels of a substance called cortisol, the primary stress hormone, in our bodies. This helps reduce stress and anxiety for improved mental health.

2) Help fight depression

Another effect of lowering the levels of cortisol in your body is that it can also influence levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with depression. A study has shown that after just two weeks of yoga, people can exhibit fewer symptoms of depression and lower cortisol levels.

3) Reduce inflammation

Practicing yoga on a regular basis has been linked to reducing inflammation in the body, which can in turn lower the risk of developing such conditions as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

4) Improves your flexibility

One of the most obvious benefits of yoga is that it improves your flexibility which helps relieve pressure on joints, relieving pain across the body but particularly in your hips, knees and back.

5) Keep your heart healthy

Research shows that people who practice yoga generally have lower blood pressure than those who do not. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of major heart problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.

6) Boost your muscle strength

The slow, controlled movements and poses associated with yoga will help build up your muscle strength which will help protect you from developing conditions such as arthritis and back pain.

7) Improve your overall wellbeing

Regular yogis typically report better sleep, reduced stress, higher energy levels and fewer physical maladies than those who do not practice.

8) Sleep well

Practicing yoga can help decrease sleep disturbances, improve sleep quality and sleep duration. Though evidence isn’t conclusive, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness.

9) Protect your joints

Yoga takes you through a full range of movements which helps replenish the cartilage in your joints and helping keep them in tip top condition.

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