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Health Benefits of Yoga

10 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is best defined by an Indian scholar as “the art of stilling the changing states of mind.” Yoga has taken the country by storm, and its popularity is evident in the increasing number of yoga studios in the United States.

According to a survey report, about 37 million people in the United States are actively practicing yoga.

Following are some of the scientifically proven health benefits of yoga.

  1. Improves Flexibility

One of the best incentives for practicing yoga is flexibility. You might not be able to touch your toes during your first class, but if you stick with it regularly, impossible poses will become possible.  You won’t be complaining about body pain anymore.  The lack of flexibility in muscles and inappropriate posture causes pain.

  • Builds Muscle Strength

Who doesn’t want strong muscles? It makes you look attractive and cool. Powerful muscles protect us from joint diseases like arthritis. You can build your strength with yoga and balance it with flexibility. Weightlifting at the gym builds muscular strength but at the cost of flexibility.

  • Perfects Your Posture

Yoga miraculously improves posture and balances your body perfectly. Poor posture not only makes you look less attractive, but it also causes back and neck pain and joint problems.

  • Prevents Joint Dislocation

Yoga exercises make you rotate your joints at their full range and angle of motion. In this way, yoga helps to prevent degenerative arthritis.  The cartilage in joints acts as a sponge, and they stay healthy only when the old fluid is soaked out. Due to negligence and lack of exercise, joint cartilage wears out, exposing the joint and underlying bones.

  • Helps Boost Immunity

Yoga postures and exercises improve lymphatic drainage in the body. The lymphatic system is a defense system of the body that fights foreign substances like bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Lymph drainage improves the function of the lymphatic system so that it actively and more powerfully destroys foreign bodies.

  • Regulates the level of adrenocorticoids

Adrenocorticoids are stress hormones that prepare the body to cope with emergencies. They activate the fight or flight response in the body. Yoga exercises help control the temperament by regulating the activity of the adrenal glands. They reduce the concentration of cortisol in the blood, which aids in controlling erratic behavior.

  • Makes you happier

Consistent yoga practice improves your mental health and helps with depression and anxiety. The scientific basis of the hypothesis is that yoga practice causes a significant increase in serum serotonin concentration and decreases monoamine oxidase and cortisol levels. It leads to stress management and is correlated with self-satisfaction and greater happiness.

  • Improves focus and concentration

Yoga helps with becoming more focused on work. Consistent yoga practice improves coordination, memory, and even IQ scores. It improves problem-solving ability and stress management. Work performance will also improve greatly.

  • Helps you sleep peacefully

Yoga is a sign of relief from the hustle and bustle of modern city life. Yoga practices like Savasana and meditation allow the sense organs to turn off, which provides downtime for the central nervous system. This leads to more peaceful sleep cycles.

  1. Provides peace of mind

It quells the fluctuations of thoughts and slows down the loops of frustration, fear, anger, anxiety, regret, and desire that are the main cause of stress and depression.

Stress is the root cause of migraines, headaches, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, strokes, etc., and yoga can is used for such patients.

Importance of Yoga for Mental Health

Yoga helps an individual control their mental health and soul. It creates the mental and physical discipline to achieve a peaceful mind and helps alleviate depression and anxiety. It helps to keep your mind and body relaxed and in equilibrium with each other. It provides physical benefits, including increased strength, muscular tension, and increased tone. 

Yoga might appear like stretching, but it can do wonders for your body. It completely transforms the way you feel, thinks, and live.

Yoga not only builds strength and flexibility, but also confidence and positivity. It is scientifically proven that yoga helps to reduce weight and maintain a healthy body. The person feels energized and rejuvenated. It bestows the power of self-control and makes you disciplined.

“It embodies the unity of mind and body, restraint and fulfillment, thought and action, and above all harmony between man and nature. It is the holistic approach to health and well-being. It aims to create a sense of oneness with yourself, the surroundings, and nature.”

Yoga recharges the body with positive and cosmic energy.  It helps to:

  • Attain equilibrium and harmony with yourself
  • Improves confidence
  • Enhances personal power and improves confidence
  • It improves one’s focus and concentration
  • It helps to reduce stress and tension
  • It removes negativity from the mind
  • Promotes self-healing
  • It helps to fight depression and anxiety

The Future of Yoga

Yoga is extremely popular among the young population. According to a recent survey report, 40% of yoga practitioners are under the age of 18. Yoga exercises have become extremely popular, and now schools and colleges are offering yoga classes for their students. Classes are particularly useful for children who have gone through trauma or physical and mental abuse at some point in their lives. If you regularly practice yoga exercises, you won’t be able to visit any psychologist or neurologist in your lifetime.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 08/02/2019

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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