We all know the benefits of flexibility and good posture but did you know yoga also improves your health in these 5 ways?
1. Builds Needed Muscle Strength
Strong muscles are more than good looking. They protect us from chronic conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help build balance and stability. And when you build strength through yoga, you are also gaining flexibility. If you just go to the gym and lift weights, you may build strength without flexibility.
2. Drains your Lymphs and Boosts Immunity
When you contract and stretch muscles, move your organs, through yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a bodily fluid rich in immune cells). This aids the lymphatic system in fighting infections, can destroy cancerous cells, and clear out the toxic waste products of cellular function.
3. Calms your mind.
Yoga quells the fluctuations of the mind, according to Patanjali’sYoga Sutra. In simpler terms, it slows down the mental loops of frustration, rumination, anger, fear, and comparison that can lead to stress. And since stress is connected to so many health problems—from migraines and insomnia to many autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, and heart attacks—if you learn to calm your mind, you’ll be likely to live healthier longer.
4. Yoga is the Beginning of a Healthy Lifestyle
Move more, eat less—something that is key to any diet. Yoga can help with both. A consistent Yoga practice gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional connections of your practice could lead you to address any existing eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more mindful eater (a part of the new Canadian Food Guide).
5. Supports the Bigger Connections
In reading and personally experiencing all the ways yoga improves your health, you probably notice a lot of overlap. That’s because our mind and body are so connected. Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system. This is one of the great lessons of yoga: Everything is connected—your hipbone to your anklebone, you to our community, our community to the world. These connections are key to understanding yoga. Yoga is a holistic system that simultaneously taps into many parts of the mind and body that have additive and even multiplicative effects. This synergy may be the most important way of all that yoga benefits your health.