As I was thinking about our current focus on yoga, I thought it would be beneficial to write a post that focused entirely on answering the question of why you should do yoga, instead of just the general, “it’s healthy” and “it reduces stress.”
According to The American Osteopathic Association, yoga increases flexibility, improves respiration, and decreases weight gain. The way it helps to reduce stress, however, is one of the most well known reasons for doing yoga. Stress has sometimes devastating effects on our body and mind. Yoga gives us an outlet through physical activity that can help us deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way.
Yoga also has an impact on diminishing depression. According to Yoga Health Foundation, “Low brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA are often found in people with depression; SSRIs, electroconvulsive therapy, and now yoga, it seems, can boost GABA. Preliminary research out of the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard’s McLean Hospital found that healthy subjects who practiced yoga for one hour had a 27 percent increase in levels of GABA compared with a control group that simply sat and read for an hour.”
While recovering from an injury, yoga can also be extremely helpful as well. You can find many yoga poses to help deal with specific types of pain or injuries, like for the back, hip, and neck. Be careful to follow instructions on these poses carefully, however, to avoid making the injury worse.
Increasing blood circulation is also a very helpful benefit of yoga. The more blood flow there is to the brain, the more the body is able to balance itself.
In addition to all of the information above, yoga also helps to combat things like heart disease, asthma, and arthritis.
With all of the benefits of yoga, I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to give it a shot. Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever experienced some of the health benefits associated with yoga or if there is a specific benefit that I perhaps didn’t mention.