Reasons to do Yoga

1. Energizes you for the day ahead: Yoga gets your blood pumping and helps you shake the sleep from your eyes and shake out any cricks from your neck. Even doing a few sun salutations in the morning can help energize you for the day ahead and help start your morning off on a positive note.
2. Strengthens your muscles: Anyone who’s been to their first yoga class will probably tell you that it was harder than they thought. Yoga requires you to use your own bodyweight to push up, down, and bend into different poses. You’ll utilize nearly every muscle group and build strong, beautiful muscles!
3. Reduces stress: Yoga helps regulate your nervous system through deep breathing and awareness. It lowers your blood pressure, your heart rate, and allows you a calm space to be free from stressful interferences or stimuli. You may find that doing a regular yoga practice helps you be a calmer, more patient person in all aspects of your life.
4. Boosts your mood: Because it helps you manage stress, yoga can also improve your mood. A German study published in 2005 looked at two different groups of women: both considered themselves to be under emotional distress, but one group took two 90-minute yoga classes per week for three months. The women in the other group did not. At the end of the three months, women in the yoga group scored lower for feelings of depression and anxiety than they had before the study; the women without the yoga classes did not.
5. Provides relief for panic attacks: Panic attacks can be truly terrifying to anyone who suffers from them; your breathing gets shallow and rapid, your heartbeat quickens, and you start to feel as if you’re doomed to some terrible fate. If you can slow down and notice your breath—as you’re taught to do in a yoga practice—you can calm your nervous system and lessen the severity of an attack.
6. Helps you lose weight: You’ll not only burn some calories doing yoga, but being aware of your body and how you feel in it can help you be more mindful in all areas of your life—when you’re eating, exercising, etc.
7. Aids in digestion: Certain yoga poses help massage your internal organs and stimulate them, calming digestive discomfort and helping get things moving if you’ve been constipated. Poses like twists and inversions can help regulate your digestive system, and the calming effects of yoga can also settle your tummy if your issues are anxiety-related.
8. Improves your balance and stability: Balance is increasingly important as you get older to help avoid falls or injury. Yoga is full of poses that require you to stand on one leg or balance on one side, like tree pose, mountain pose, and triangle pose. By practicing them often you’ll improve your balance and stability.
9. Engages your core: Because you’ll be balancing a lot or holding certain poses for a while, you’re forced to engage your core. Not only does this strengthen your core and help sculpt your abs, but having a strong core protects your back from injury.
10. Puts you in the present moment: Our fast-paced world which demands us to constantly multi-task and be thinking of three things at once. By connecting breath to movement, yoga brings you back to the present moment.
11. Increases range of motion and flexibility: As we age, our joints can get stiff and we can be afflicted with problems such as arthritis or joint pain. Holding different yoga poses can increase our flexibility and range of motion, keeping our joints pain-free.
12. Helps detoxify your body: Yoga assists your body’s natural detoxification process. Yoga poses such as chair pose with twist help wring out the organs and rid the body of toxins.
13. Improves your posture: Yoga is all about proper postural alignment. If you find yourself slouching a lot, doing yoga regularly can help improve your posture and be more aware of when your body is out of alignment.
14. Keeps your lungs healthy: Regular yoga can boost your lung function and capacity. In yoga, you take full, deep breaths that helps fully expand your lungs and improves their function.
15. Builds resilience and self-confidence: When you’re faced with a challenging pose, yoga teaches you to face it head on, and to face feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. When you can sink into a pose even if it’s uncomfortable or difficult, you come out the other side feeling more confident and resilient, building your mental toughness.
16. Helps you connect to others: If you practicing yoga in a group setting, there can be a great sense of oneness or unity during a yoga class. You’re sharing a space and all breathing in peace together.
17. Boosts circulation: Good blood circulation is critical to your overall health. Yoga increases your circulation, particularly in poses called “inversions” where you’re slightly upside down. Poses like legs up the wall or forward folds use gravity to re-stimulate blood flow.
18. Improves focus and concentration: By quieting your mind and shutting out distractions, you train yourself to pay deep attention to one thing at a time. In yoga, it’s your breath, but learning this skill can help you in all areas of your life more deeply focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by multi-tasking or other thoughts.
19. Helps you feel more gratitude: Often we go through our busy day flitting from task to task without stopping to marvel at the world around us. Focusing on our breath brings us back to a place of gratitude. .
20. Helps you work through difficult emotions: The next time you are worked up about something, take a deep breath. Yoga teaches us to pay attention to and focus on our breath, it allows us to notice when our emotions affect our breath. When you get in tune with your breath, you can work through negative emotions with self-compassion—allowing you to respond to life with patience.
21. Alleviates chronic pain: Yoga has been shown to help alleviate chronic pain and can actually change the way our brain learns to perceive pain. According to a Harvard medical study, yoga is comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic pain.
22. Improves sleep: Constant stress can take a toll on not only our minds but our bodies as well. Being unable to sleep no matter how tired you are is a sign that you could be dealing with chronic stress. Luckily, a regular yoga practice can calm both your body and mind, alleviating the physical and mental symptoms of stress and helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
23. Eases tension headaches: Next time you have a headache, try doing inversion poses where your head is below your heart help boost your circulation and stretch out sore spots in your head and neck, getting the blood and oxygen flowing and hopefully relieving that pain!
24. It’s a great way to end your day: Stretch out those kinks from sitting at a desk all day, or spend a few minutes lying in savasana (or corpse pose) to find peace and stillness after a long day. Whatever brings you to your mat each day, know that you’re doing something helpful for your body and mind.