Do you yoga? No? Well September is National Yoga Month so there’s no better time than now to get started. You’ve seen people bending themselves like pretzels and Janelle Monae sang about it, but what can yoga do for you?
1. Improve Posture and Balance
Yoga coordinates movements and helps connect your body with your mind. This helps in giving you a better understanding of how your body parts work together and helps with your balance. The Huffington Post reports that 15 studies have shown the usefulness of yoga in improving the balance of senior citizens thus helping them to avoid falls and injuries. Yoga poses can also strengthen and straighten your back which will help you sit straighter and stand taller.
2. Lower Stress
Had a rough day? Yoga combines poses with breathing techniques that quiet the mind. Studies have shown that practicing yoga can reduce stress and anxiety and even lower blood pressure.
3. Increase Flexibility
Flexibility is important to your health and it helps you avoid injury. Over time and with consistent practice, yoga can improve your flexibility. Start slowly with your stretching and don’t push your body too quickly. Change is gradual, but you will see results.
4. Improve Sleep
Yes, that’s right yoga can help you sleep and who couldn’t use some more of that? Studies have shown that people who did yoga regularly reported falling asleep faster, waking up fewer times during the night, and overall better sleep quality. The Child’s Pose (seen above) is one of the poses that is good for improving sleep.
5. Help Weight Loss
No it’s not a Spinning class, but studies have shown that yoga can actually take off some pounds. Some of the poses combined with deep breathing can burn calories and tighten and tone love handles. Experts also think that the mind body connection that yoga creates helps you become more aware of your food choices and eat healthier.
These are just a few benefits to yoga. There are dozens more. Will you be trying it?
Stephanie Kemp is a writer, poet, natural hair lover, and social media specialist. Follow her on Twitter @stephanie_poet.