People have been practicing yoga for centuries, but only recently has science taken a closer look at the benefits of this ancient practice.
Here are 10 benefits of yoga that are supported by science.
Improved flexibility and balance:
Yoga helps improve flexibility and balance, which can help you stay safe when performing other activities. Having the ability to bend and flex your muscles is a vital part of maintaining good health. Yoga has a wide variety of techniques to select from, ranging from quite intense to extremely gentle. Flexibility can be improved with workouts of any intensity.
Adults over the age of 65 seem to benefit most from the flexibility-improving effects of yoga. A 2019 study demonstrated that yoga reduced the loss of flexibility and enhanced flexibility in older persons.
Increased strength and endurance:
Yoga also helps increase strength and endurance, which can be helpful for athletes or people who are regularly active. This can be helpful if you are an athlete or if you are regularly active.
Some forms of yoga can be considered strength-building even though most people identify them with stretching and flexibility. It all comes down to the student’s ability, the teacher’s approach, and the environment. In this way, the asanas of yoga are a multimodal exercise.
People with breast cancer, elderly folks, and toddlers, for example, have all been researched in relation to yoga’s ability to improve strength.
May Reduce Anxiety:
Earlier this year, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America said that anxiety disorders may be the most frequent mental health conditions in the United States.
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SA), and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders might include even long-term stress.
A growing body of data suggests that yoga asana may be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders as an alternative, but many researchers want to see more studies done to be sure.
Chronic inflammation is a common antecedent of disease. Chronic inflammation has been related to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease (10Trusted Source).
A review of 15 studies revealed that they all had the same conclusion: Inflammatory biochemical markers were lowered across a wide range of chronic illnesses by various yoga styles, intensities, and durations.
Yoga can also help reduce stress levels. It was recently revealed in a study by the APA that 84% of American adults had been affected by long-term stressful situations.
So, it makes sense that the second most common reason people give for doing yoga is to alleviate stress. Fortunately, scientific evidence shows that yoga, particularly asana, is an effective stress-relief technique.
Improved Mental Health
Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it often gets less attention. Yoga may be able to improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and increasing self-awareness. While there is still more research needed to determine the full extent of yoga’s benefits for mental health, there is evidence that yoga can be an effective tool for improving mental health.
Yoga may boost immunity:
Having a weakened immune system puts you at greater risk of sickness. In contrast, yoga has been shown to be an effective alternative treatment for stress.
A growing body of evidence suggests that regular yoga practice boosts the immune system, although further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Yoga’s capacity to reduce inflammation and boost cell-mediated immunity is a part of the reason.
Yoga’s Tree Pose, when you stand on one leg, isn’t the only time you’ll need to pay attention to your balance. To do daily tasks such as picking something up from the floor, reaching for a shelf, and descending the stairs, one needs to have good balance.
Athletes’ balance and general performance have been found to improve with yoga.
Similarly, a review of studies conducted on healthy populations reveals that most people’s balance may improve after practicing yoga regularly.
May Improve Cardiovascular Functions
It is vital and advantageous to incorporate pranayama, or “yogic breathing,” into your practice of yoga.
1,400 studies were analyzed in an article published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. Several systems in the body can be improved by practicing yogic breathing.
Breathing control has been shown to improve heart rate, stroke capacity, arterial pressure, and the heart’s ability to contract, according to the study detailed in the review article.
People’s abilities to fall asleep and stay asleep are both taken into consideration by researchers when assessing sleep quality. One or the other of these factors may be impacted by insomnia.
People’s ability to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer after practicing yoga has been demonstrated. Yoga’s mental relaxing and stress-relieving effects are a part of the reason behind this.
There are plenty of benefits to yoga that have been supported by science. From reducing stress and improving mental health to boosting immunity and improving balance, yoga seems to have something to offer everyone. While more research is needed in some areas, the preliminary evidence is certainly promising. So why not give yoga a try? You may find that you enjoy it as much as the scientists do!