I have been doing yoga now for a number of years and never really thought about all the ways it might be of benefit to me. I was like most with the realization that it will reduce stress and increase flexibility (which it has) But what about all the other benefits, below I have come up with a list of other benefits.
Plus, a handy infographic I got from the Huffington Post
Stress Reduction: Just 12 minutes reduces the bodies stress response through certain biological changes.
Increased Flexibility: Yoga has been found to increase the flexibility in the back, shoulders, hips and hamstrings.
Cognitive Function: A 20minute yoga session can be the equivalent to that of vigorous aerobic exercise. Yoga has also helped improve memory and brain function in many cases.
Increased Immunity: An extensive Norwegian report showed the impact of yoga on the immune system through gene expression alterations.
A Few Months On
Lower Blood Pressure: People with mild to moderate hypertension could find yoga beneficial as it could help to lower their blood pressure levels. Research has found that people who practiced yoga had greater drops in blood pressure compared with those who participated other weight loss programmes or routines.
Improved Lung Capacity: Practicing Hatha yoga for 15 weeks could significantly increase a person’s lung capacity.
Anxiety Relief: A 2010 Boston University study has shown that 12 weeks of yoga could help to reduce anxiety and increase gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain (low levels of GABA have been linked with depression and anxiety disorders).
Relief from Chronic Back Pain: Research that has been done by the West Virginia University found Iyengar Yoga was in cases more effective in reducing pain and improving mood than standard medical treatment among those with chronic lower back problems.
Improved Heart Health: Studies have shown regular yoga sessions can improve cardiovascular health by gently exercising your cardio muscles.
Improves Neck Pain: Four weeks of therapeutic yoga conducted in Germany and Austria showed a significant reduction in neck pain.
Stronger Bones: In a 2009 pilot study by Dr. Loren Fishman it was found that practicing yoga could improve bone density among older adults.
Healthy Weight: There have been many finding that show an association between regular yoga sessions and weight loss amongst middle aged adults.