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Yoga has been practiced for over 2,500 years, incorporating the mind, body and spirit to achieve overall wellbeing, health and happiness. As such, it is an amazing way to stay in shape while also looking after your mental health. The benefits of yoga have been researched for years, so here are the top science-backed benefits to practicing yoga, even as little as once a week!
Increases strength and fitness
Some of the more upbeat flows such as a Vinyasa or Ashtanga will definitely have you breaking a sweat which is great for toning up and enhancing your fitness and endurance, while still also being able to tap into the meditative benefits that come from yoga.
Reduces stress and promotes relaxation
One of the main focuses in yoga, in particular slower flows such as Hatha or Yin yoga, is to centre the mind and body and focus on relaxation and reducing stress. There have been many studies surrounding practicing yoga and reducing stress levels, which have shown to actually reduce the stress-hormone cortisol. This may also help to alleviate symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.
Improves Heart Health
Studies have shown that regular yoga over a long period of time may lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve overall heart, while also reducing cholesterol levels. By getting your blood pumping with an upbeat yoga flow your body will thank you in the long run!
Improves quality of sleep
Practicing yoga regularly has been shown to increase levels of melatonin, a hormone linked to regulating sleep and wakefulness, allowing you to have a much deeper and rejuvenating sleep at night!
Enhances mindfulness and positive thinking
Whichever speed and style of yoga you opt for, one thing they all have in common is a focus on mindful meditation, the goal of which is to improve positive thinking and gratefulness which, with regular practice, will carry over into everyday life making you feel all round happier on a daily basis!
Promotes a healthy lifestyle
Like all kinds of exercise, participating in an activity that gets your heart pumping will help to carry over a healthier approach to other aspects of your life, be it eating more nutritious foods, spending more time on your mental health or making more time for exercise during the week.