YOGA: The Health Benefits

More and more people are taking up YOGA but what are the health benefits of this relaxing activity?

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Originating as an ancient practice in India in 3000 B.C., yoga is about striking poses and conducting practices that will help achieve absolute harmony within yourself and will connect your mind, body, and soul. At least that's what it says on the tin!
With so many people now taking up yoga, it is important the health benefits (there are many) are explained.
#1 Decreases stress
Yoga promotes relaxation. Therefore, yoga is known to reduce stress levels and even decrease the primary stress hormone cortisol.
One study of 131 people that spent 10 weeks doing yoga, showed that their levels of stress and anxiety decreased, whilst their quality of life increased.
#2 Relieves anxiety and reduces depression
Since the 1970's, yoga has been studied from all angles as a possible treatment for depression. By taking part in yoga, it's been proved that it may help with better managing the symptoms of depression.
Yoga can reduce symptoms of depression by increasing serotonin production which is a key element of increasing happiness.
“Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”–Amit Ray
#3 Improves sleep quality
Yoga is known to improve your quality of sleep especially if you suffer from insomnia. It is proved that yoga will improve your quality of sleep, you will sleep for longer, fall asleep quicker and return to sleep quicker if you wake up. Additionally, you may enter deeper sleep.
#4 Improves flexibility and balance
Flexibility is one of the most important factors of joint and muscle growth. Yoga improves flexibility by stretching the whole body which in turn will aid in body muscles loosening.
#5 Can Increase Strength
Your overall strength may increase. As you continue to do yoga, you will partake in more and more poses which may continually push your body to its limits.
This can be especially important for gym-goers, especially if you lift weights.
#6 Stretches out the entire body
Yoga poses stretch out the entire body, even muscles that you may not stretch whilst completing a regular stretch routine. This will improve many aspects of your fitness and will aid you in the gym when lifting weights. Moreover, this will limit your chance of injury.
So what are you waiting for try yoga today- you will not regret it. Even 15 minutes a day has proven health benefits!