The benefits of yoga are numerous and cover a broad range of physical, emotional, and wellness issues. Practicing yoga regularly can not only help you sleep better, keep a healthy weight, and ease back pain, did you know it can also give you a firm bootie and relieve stress? There are so many benefits of yoga, it’s almost too much to put in one article, but we can do it, right here, right now! Here are 30 benefits of yoga you should know about, so put on your yoga pants, turn on your favorite DVD, and let’s get going!
1. Better Sleep
With millions of Americans suffering from varying degrees of insomnia on a regular basis, this is one benefit of yoga that’s a real selling feature. Doing yoga a few times a week can actually help you sleep better, for a variety of reasons. It’s true!
2. Better Posture
Because yoga strengthens your core, you’ll notice that your posture will improve as you practice it for a few weeks. You’ll walk with confidence, shoulder back, tummy in, head held high. Good posture is healthy, and it’s also attractive!
3. Stress Relief
One of the key benefits of yoga is that, if you practice it regularly, it can be a marvelous stress-buster. As part of the yoga routine, you are forced to clear your mind and focus on your body and breathing. Because of this, your stress reactions will diminish, even after class is over.
4. Weight Loss
Combined with a healthy diet and as part of a regular exercise program, yoga can help you lose weight, and keep it off, too. Is it any wonder so many workout and weight loss DVDs include a yoga segment?
5. Muscle Tone
In addition to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, yoga can also help build lean muscle, and will also help define and tone existing muscle. You won’t be over-huge and buff, but you will have a gorgeous, sexy silhouette!
6. Low Impact
Yoga is a low-impact exercise, which means it’s great for anyone who has joint trouble, including senior citizens. It’s still strenuous, though, so if you’re not sure if you can do it, check with your doctor first, and definitely ease into a beginner’s course!
7. Lifelong Love
My daughter and I have been doing yoga together since she was a newborn, and she loves it! She’s seven now, and loves doing yoga and meditation, and I’m sure that as she grows, she’ll continue to do it, and reap the benefits of yoga, long after she leaves home.
8. Mental Sharpness
Regular practice of yoga has been proven to help with memory and concentration, and even, in recent studies, it’s been shown to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Marvelous!
9. It Can Be Added to round out a Fitness Routine
According to my personal trainer, every good exercise routine needs to include cardio, weight training, weight bearing exercise, non-weight bearing exercise, and a dose of stretching. Yoga is the perfect addition to a workout regimen to fill the “stretching” portion… and it can also count as cardio!
If you, like me, suffer from balance issues, either from inner ear problems or something else, yoga can help with that, too. I’m beginning to think there’s nothing yoga can’t help with!
11. Start Small
Another benefit of yoga is that it’s a fantastic “gateway” exercise. Practicing yoga will lead you to want to be healthier in other parts of your life, like your diet, and it will even lead you to consider quitting smoking. Amazing!
12. Time with Friends
If you decide to take a yoga class at a studio or at the gym, you can do it with friends, and spend quality time with them, doing something far more healthful and beneficial than a night out drinking, shoe shopping, or scrapbooking.
13. Whole Family Can do It
Because you can do yoga at home or in the park, the whole family, dad included, can do it together. Yeah! Dad in yoga pants!
14. No Back Pain/stiffness
Medical research has shown that practicing yoga regularly can actually be as effective, or even more effective, than pharmaceuticals in the treatment of back pain and stiffness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to move around without back pain?
15. Better Bootie!
Who doesn’t want a firm round bootie, and whose bootie doesn’t look instantly better even by just putting yoga pants on? Practicing yoga can give you a great bootie… trust me!
16. Tighter Abs
Along with a firm, round butt, yoga can also give you tight abs. Say hello to a regular yoga routine and say good-bye to muffin top!
17. Can do While Pregnant
Did you know you can do yoga, and continue to reap its benefits, all throughout your pregnancy? It’s been shown that women who stayed fit (safely, of course) had easier labors and deliveries, too. Can you think of a better reason to do yoga?
18. You Can do It Anywhere
Once you know the basics, you can practice yoga almost anywhere, alone or with someone else. You’ll still want structured classes once in a while, but it’s nice to be able to do yoga in the park, or at home, or while on vacation, isn’t it?
19. Great Way to Meet like-minded People
It’s hard to make new friends when you’re an adult, settled in your career, with a family. But if you take yoga classes at a studio or gym, you’ll meet other men and women, like you, with similar fitness and lifestyle goals.
20. Good Arms!
There’s nothing worse than waving hello or good-bye and having your arm flab continue to flap after you’ve stopped waving. But here’s another benefit of yoga to address that! Yoga can help improve muscle tone in your arms, eliminating the unsightly arm flap. Eww.
21. Gorgeous Legs!
Ok, so I’ve already told you that yoga can give you a firm, round bootie, tight abs, and it can help you get rid of arm flab. But it can also give you slender legs, with nicely defined calves and tighter thighs. In short, you’ll get a bikini-ready bod by doing yoga.
22. Can Be Good Cardio Workout
Until I did the P90X yoga disc, I was under the terribly mistaken impression that it was not a good cardio workout. After half an hour, covered in sweat, heart pounding and exhausted, I learned otherwise. Yoga can be an excellent cardio workout.
23. Can Improve/progress over Time
I love that, over time, you can see real progress when you practice yoga. I started off barely being able to touch my toes, but now I need yoga blocks to do some of the stretches and poses, and it’s not even been a year!
24. Pain Management
Yoga is a marvelous weapon in the battle against chronic pain. And, because it’s not a drug, and because it’s appropriate for almost anyone, it’s something to consider for anyone who suffers from long-term joint, muscle, or back pain.
25. More Energy
Like any other form of exercise, doing yoga regularly can provide you with an energy boost, long-term. See? Much better than an energy drink, which will wear off!
26. Helps with Asthma/breathing Issues
One of the key benefits of yoga for many Americans is the fact that it can help address breathing issues, like CPOD or asthma. Of course, if you suffer from these, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start a yoga regimen.
27. Tummy Troubles
Did you know that doing yoga a few times a week can help relieve gastrointestinal distress? That’s right: yoga can help with tummy troubles.
28. It’s Non-competitive
I’m of a rather competitive nature, so it’s marvelous to enjoy yoga without spoiling it by competing. Everyone progresses at their own pace, and there’s no belt or badge system. You just go with it!
29. Boosts Immunity
This was news to me, but I recently discovered that another benefit of yoga is that it helps boost your immune system. And it’s a lot more enjoyable than a flu shot, right?
30. Prevent Osteoporosis
Because some of yoga is weight-bearing exercise, it can also help prevent osteoporosis. Since so many of us women are just prone to this dangerous brittle-bone disease, this is a fantastic benefit of yoga!
With so many benefits of yoga to be enjoyed, it’s such a good idea to add it to your workout routine once or twice a week, isn’t it? I’ve tried it, and I can tell you that every single one of these benefits of yoga are real. I love it! Which of these yoga benefits appeals the most to you? Please share!