In 2009, the Department of Health & Human Services designated September as National Yoga Month. Yoga isn’t just an exercise or hobby (even though we love it for that). It also has amazing benefits for your mental wellbeing and overall health. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite reasons to practice:
1. Reduces Stress
Yoga, much like meditation, has the ability to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. The practice encourages relaxation which lowers the hormone cortisol, that pumps stress into the body.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Benefits
A stress-free life can have amazing benefits on the heart, but yoga goes beyond just lowering cortisol levels. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and resting heart rate. The slow, deep breaths of yoga bring more oxygen into the body. Even simple movements can increase the body’s overall endurance.
3. Provide Pain Relief
Studies have shown that yoga has the ability to relieve chronic pain from things like arthritis, and back pain. Similar studies have proven that yoga can improve functions in disorders like fibromyalgia and even diseases like cancer.
4. Helps You Sleep Deeper
Many are surprised to learn that not all yoga is sun salutations and downward dogs. Yoga nidra, savasana, and other restorative yogas will guide you through turning inwards and giving your brain a little rest. 55% of people that practice yoga regularly said that they found they slept better at night.
5. Make You Happier
Our favorite one! Yoga has an immediate effect on your brain. The gamma-amniobutyric (GABA) levels spike after just one hour, which in turn will lower levels of depression. That’s why you feel great after just one class, even if you’re not a committed yogi.
In another study at the University of Wisconsin they found that while doing yoga, your left prefrontal cortex, most associate with happiness, showed heightened activity.
Start your yoga practice today! Find out more on meditation.live.