With yoga becoming more and more popular every day, you might be wondering if it is worth all the hype. There are numerous benefits to practicing yoga, including getting a good workout, improving your health, and helping you sleep. Most importantly, you'll feel great when you hit the mat. Here are just a few reasons to give yoga a try.
1. Yoga can help you relieve stress and fight depression.
Elevated cortisol levels, often caused by stress, increase the risk of depression and mental illness. Research has shown that practicing yoga can significantly lower cortisol levels. Getting to yoga class regularly will not only help you feel calm and centered whenever a stressful situation arises, but it will also improve your mood, making it easier for you to maintain a happy outlook and shrug off minor daily annoyances. As a bonus, your better mood will have a positive effect on the way those around you perceive you, leading to more and more pleasant interactions.
2. Yoga can improve your general health.
Studies have shown that there are countless health benefits from practicing yoga, including boosting your immune system, reducing migraine headaches, improving bone density, relieving back pain, and lowering blood pressure. Many of these benefits become even more crucial as you get older, and you can practice yoga at any age. Even if you're healthy now, reaping the health benefits of yoga could prevent you from getting sick down the road.
3. Yoga can be a great workout.
Not all forms of yoga provide a significant calorie burn, but many classes can give you an excellent workout. Power Vinyasa yoga, Bikram yoga, or Ashtanga yoga will help you tone your arms, legs, and core. Classes of these kinds can burn up to 300 to 600 calories per hour, and are great for strength training, which will even help you burn more calories when at rest. If you're a runner or a regular gym-goer, yoga can be a fun alternative workout for your off days. Yoga is easier on the body than pounding the pavement, and by increasing your flexibility, might aid in preventing injuries when you do go for a run.
4. Yoga can help you sleep better.
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? The bad news is that sleep deprivation can lead to grogginess, worsening of cognitive function, increased risk of illness, lower libido, depression, weight gain, forgetfulness, and impaired judgment. The good news is that yoga can help. Research shows that just eight weeks of yoga can be effective in treating chronic insomnia, improving both the quality and quantity of sleep.
5. Yoga can improve your body image.
Yoga can make women feel better about their bodies and lower the risk of eating disorders, according to a recent study. Yoga practitioners have more positive feelings about their bodies and demonstrate fewer disordered eating behaviors. Whether yoga changes women's outlook about their bodies, actually improves the way their bodies look, or both, it's hard to go wrong with practicing yoga.