If you already practice yoga, you’ve most likely tried to persuade others around you of the benefits and why they should begin as well. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to get out your yoga mat and discover the unique combination of physical and mental exercises that have hooked yoga practitioners all over the world for thousands of years.
Out of the many, here are the 10 most known facts about yoga.
- Yoga slows down aging.
Yoga has been scientifically proven to slow down the aging process. A total of 96 active people participated in a 12-week yoga and meditation program in 2017. The results show an amazing decrease in DNA damage and telomere shortening (the caps that cover our chromosomes). Along with meditation, these studies confirm that Yoga improves your overall physical and mental state and slows down aging making you look and feel younger!
- Yoga strengthens the immune system.
Yoga has long been known to minimize inflammation in the body, but new research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests it also benefits the immune system. Yoga can improve your immune system, according to a 2018 systematic study, particularly for people who are struggling with inflammatory diseases. While more research is needed, the preliminary findings are promising.
- Yoga can improve your productivity.
If you struggle with procrastination, Yoga will help you become more productive.
The CDC published a report in 2017 on workplace stress.
Yoga in the workplace has been shown to not only enhance an employee’s well-being and reduce tension, but also to boost their productivity.
- Yoga improves balance, strength and flexibility.
It’s no surprise that yoga increases flexibility, strength and balance.
These benefits of yoga were put to the test in a study in 2019. A group of male college athletes were observed to see how 10 weeks of yoga could affect their athletic performance. All participants, after 10 weeks, had improvements in their flexibility, strength and balance.
- Yoga improves lung function.
Apart from the many physical benefits of doing Yoga, one that stands out is lung and respiratory system improvements.
The purpose of another study, that focused on young competitive swimmers, was to find ways to improve their respiratory endurance. The results showed that test subjects increased the number of strokes per breath after practicing yogic breathing.
- Yoga helps to improve your mental health.
Mindfulness is one of the cornerstones of yoga practice. Mindfulness is the state of being fully conscious and aware of the present moment. In a 2014 study, people with depression tried mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. The practice was shown to help prevent the recurrence of a depressive episode.
- Yoga improves self esteem.
The yoga poses you choose can have a big impact on your self-esteem.
A fascinating piece of research showed how adopting open and expansive postures in yoga made respondents feel more energetic, empowered and in control.
- Yoga can treat and control a number of different health conditions.
Yoga has been shown to be helpful for a variety of health conditions including :
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
One of the most significant findings relates to how Yoga can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a research study that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Research, yoga and meditation can help postpone the cognitive decline that is usually the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Yoga increases energy levels.
Yoga will help you feel more energized. In a 2017 project, researchers compared Hatha Yoga and meditation and found that yoga was much more effective than meditation alone.
One explanation for yoga’s increased energy levels, according to the University of Waterloo, is that it allows you to eliminate unwanted, repetitive thoughts and information from your mind.
- Yoga aids weight loss and promotes healthy eating habits.
Daily yoga workouts will also motivate you to eat more healthily. The University of Minnesota published a major study in 2018 that looked at young adults’ eating patterns and activity levels. The findings showed that those who practiced yoga had healthier eating habits, according to the researchers. Young yoga practitioners were found to eat more fruits and vegetables and less fast food. The principle of mindfulness, which is such a cornerstone of yoga practice, was found to support a healthier eating pattern.