Modern-day yoga is based on age-old wisdom about the needs of the mind and body, combined with the current understanding of how the body works and what it needs to function at its optimum level. The benefits of yoga are well-known in the world of holistic health, but the conventional medical community also recognizes the myriad benefits in pain management and mental health.
Stress reduction and improved mental health. The benefit most often connected to yoga is the improved mind-body connection and the resulting improvement in mental well-being. Taking the time to slow down, shut out the world and focus internally helps shed stress and allows you to think more clearly about how to prioritize your days. Yoga has shown to have benefits in anxiety, depression and other similar conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood.”
Better fitness levels. Yoga teaches breathing techniques and bodily control that are extremely beneficial in improving flexibility and core strength. In addition, many people who enjoy yoga on a regular basis lose weight and often notice decreased blood pressure and heart rate. The collective result of these benefits is more energy and better overall health.
Look better. True, yoga is beneficial in helping you lose weight, but what if you’re not overweight to begin with or weight loss hasn’t achieved the body you want? You may greatly benefit from the toning, shaping and improved posture that are common benefits of yoga.
Pain reduction. Along with other body-conscious methods such as Pilates, yoga may help reduce chronic pain, pain related to osteoarthritis, repetitive strain injuries and nerve injuries. By helping the body move smoothly and correctly, yoga can help reduce the risk of new injuries as well as take the strain off of already damaged joints. Many doctors recommend yoga as an adjunct to traditional pain management. Talk to your doctor about whether yoga would be a good option for you, and discuss any physical concerns before starting yoga classes or routines.