Health Benefits of Yoga

Lately, I have been super stressed and anxious about school and life practically just hitting me in the face. For years I have been wanting to try yoga and never got around to it. I believe doing yoga relaxes you and gives you peace of mind after all that negative energy and thoughts are washed away. Yoga is an activity and exercise that brings you to so many people and can take you across the globe! People go on yoga retreats in Thailand, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Bali, and many more beautiful places to name. Of course, I had my reservations about yoga until I actually tried it last Sunday with my Her Campus squad. We went to Steamtown Yoga in downtown Scranton and took a class with Lara Alexiou 

I absolutely loved- it was very freeing to me.  There are significant mental and physical health benefits from doing yoga. Yoga can decrease stress, relieve anxiety, could improve heart health, and increases flexibility and balance. 

1. Yoga Decreases Stress

Yoga is known for having the great ability of reducing stress. When people get into a yoga room, their whole aura can change. The primary stress hormone is cortisol and yoga has been known to decrease the secretion of that hormone (HealthLine.com). There was a study done with 24 women were tormented with stress. Over three months, their cortisol levels dropped dramatically and they became less fatigued. Yoga can very powerful with balancing mental health. 

 

2. Yoga can Relieve Anxiety

Yoga emphasizes the practice of being present in the moment, which helps when coping with anxiety. Yoga helps create an inner peace which can help people cope with anxious thoughts. There are significant studies to show the proof of this method of reducing anxiety. According to HealthLine.com, “another study followed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by severe anxiety and fear following exposure to a traumatic event. After 10 weeks, the women who practiced yoga once weekly had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all.” It is honestly magical in a way that yoga can have such a positive impact on our mind. 

 

3. Yoga Could Improve Heart Health 

Yoga is an activity that goes your heart pumping and blood flowing. Blood flows throughout the body giving tissues the nutrients it needs. Yoga has shown to reduce high blood pressure for people of forty years and older, yoga can slow the progression of heart disease, and “23%-26% of cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol” (HealthLine.com). Certain yoga poses like the boat pose, extended triangle pose, high lunge crescent variation pose, etc., are tremendous for cardiac health because it opens airways and targets blood flow for the heart. 

 

4. Yoga Can Improve Flexibility and Balance 

One of yoga’s many great benefits is how it can make you flexible like a professional ballerina. Okay maybe not that flexible, but you get the idea. There is extensive research on the fact that yoga promotes flexibility and balance that is targeted through different poses. Collegiate sports teams are known to practice yoga to relax and improve their flexibility and balance. Health Line magazine reports that. “A recent study looked at the impact of 10 weeks of yoga on 26 male college athletes. Doing yoga significantly increased several measures of flexibility and balance, compared to the control group.” From practicing yoga from an hour a day to fifteen minutes, it is significant how it can help balance and flexibility. 

 

All right all my yogis, I have given you all the facts. It is time to decide what you will believe and if you practice this sacred ritual. Namaste bitches.