The biggest benefit of yoga, is that your stress level drops dramatically. Yoga allows one to clear their mind, and work their body. Who doesn't want a decreased stress level?
Yoga tends to help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol, that "nasty stress hormone", seems to normalize with the practice of yoga. Yoga brings balance to the body, which balances cortisol levels- and balances stress.
Do you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) or tachycardia (increased heart rate)? Yoga is for you! Yoga reduces cortisol, which tends to elevate your blood pressure and heart rate. So practicing yoga will lower those readings a great deal. Give your "ticker" a rest!
Yoga is known to increase one's strength and flexibility. Holding those poses requires a lot of strength, and flexibility!
Yoga proves to be beneficial in many who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions. Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Yoga may improve the way you feel. According to The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, a study of 90 people with chronic back pain found that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga specifically, had significantly less pain after 6 months. Know anyone with diabetes, or do you suffer with diabetes? Yoga promotes lower blood pressure, and weight loss which slows the progression and reduces the symptoms of diabetes!
While we are on the subject of health improvement- let's talk yoga with pregnancy.
Yoga has been proven to reduce stress in pregnancy, improving mom's sense of well being and reducing depression and anxiety.
As we know, pregnancy comes with many mood changes for women. The question is, how do we control this? A study performed by Kusaka, Matsuzaki, Shiraishi and Haruna back in 2013 had verified the immediate effects of yoga on physiological stress responses during pregnancy. Stress responses were measured before and after yoga classes at two time points to assess how a single yoga session decreased stress at different phases of pregnancy. The women chosen for the study were measured at 27-32 weeks and the second was at 34-37 weeks. These lovely ladies had used a straw to collect saliva from under their tongue. The saliva was used to measure salivary cortisol reactivity to stress. Before and after yoga classes, saliva samples were collected. It was found at the end of the study that the mean salivary cortisol concentration declined a great deal after each yoga class. Interesting stuff!
I love what I am reading, how to I get involved?
There are many ways that you can get involved in a yoga class! The best way, is to find a class to join at a local gym or studio. It is best to talk with an instructor or class participant directly first, to see if yoga is truly right for you.