This post was most recently updated on November 24th, 2022
Yoga is an ancient, holistic form of exercise that dates back to the 5th century BCE. It has remained popular throughout the years due to its many health benefits. If you’ve never been to a yoga class, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about! Here are just a few of the many benefits that you can experience by taking a yoga class:
Offers Reliable Time for Relaxation
The pursuit of career success causes many people to neglect their well-being. Work, studies, quick menus, and rush programs cause a drop in productivity and, in most cases, the immune system gets weakened. Most people are so preoccupied with productivity issues that they live on autopilot!
A yoga class provides the student with a reliable period of tranquility and inner peace. Each class focuses your mind on itself, and on the body. As you exert yourself through stretches and hold your body weight in different positions, your mind is forced to leave all those “productivity stresses” elsewhere, finally allowing your brain the break it needs to rest, reset, and focus on health!
Improves Your Flexibility
The body is designed to be pliable, but we often don’t move in ways that practice or push that pliability. Yoga postures allow you to lengthen, stretch and flex your muscles, tendons, and joints. With regular practice, you’ll experience more energy, muscle tone, and better posture. Your lymphatic system functions better, giving your immune system a boost.
Improves Your Balance
Good balance is important for everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs, running, etc. Improved balance can also help prevent falls. A regular yoga practice can help you maintain or improve your balance at any age. Doing inversions like headstands or shoulder stands helps with proprioception, which provides feedback to the central nervous system about the body’s position. Practicing these poses improves stability and muscle strength, which is especially helpful for people with conditions like osteoporosis.
Balance Hormones and De-Stress
Hormones play a very important role in the body. They are responsible for everything from your mood and energy levels to metabolism and fertility. When the hormones are out of balance, it can lead to all sorts of problems. That’s where yoga comes in!
Stress exacerbates medical conditions, drains energy, and depresses mood. Studies have shown that practicing hatha yoga on a regular basis can lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels and regulate the natural hormonal response. Yoga also increases the levels of dopamine which boosts your mood and leaves you feeling happier after each session.
A Yoga Class Can Help You De-Stress in a Few Different Ways
- The act of physically moving your body can help to release tension.
- Deep breathing can help to relax your mind and body.
- The focus on the present moment can help to clear your mind and allow you to release stressors that are weighing you down.
- The meditation at the end of class can help to calm your nervous system and leave you feeling refreshed.
Yoga Helps Strengthen Your Muscles
When you practice yoga, you push and build your physical strength by holding your body in static positions. This type of low-impact exercise protects your joints and muscles by strengthening the connective tissues around them. As you become more advanced in your practice, you’ll be able to hold poses for longer periods of time. This will further increase your muscle strength.
Relieve Lower Back Pain
Yoga is a great way to relieve lower back pain and improve your range of motion. A few different yoga poses can target the muscles in your lower back to help ease pain and improve flexibility. A child’s pose, for example, is a restorative pose that can help lengthen the spine and release tension in the lower back.
Burn Calories and Lose Weight
One of the most common reasons people begin practicing yoga is to lose weight. One yoga class can burn anywhere from 180-600 calories, depending on how vigorous the class is and how long it lasts. But even if you don’t burn a ton of calories in one session, practicing yoga regularly can lead to long-term weight loss. The key to making any fitness plan work, of course, is consistency.
Should You Try Yoga Classes?
The benefits of yoga are many and varied. Not only can it improve your physical health, but it can also boost your mental and emotional well-being. If you’re looking for a way to improve your overall health and wellbeing, consider signing up for a yoga class today.
If you’re new to yoga, it’s important to start slow and build up gradually. Working with a certified yoga instructor can help you ensure you’re doing the poses correctly and avoid injury. Some instructors also offer online classes which are perfect for beginners or those who live too far away from their nearest studio.