As yoga’s popularity rises, the health benefits of yoga have become widely understood and accepted throughout medical communities on a global scale. Doctors and scientists have found that yoga is a great cure all for everything from heart health to mind health and even sinus relief.
Health Benefits Of Yoga
The more you understand about how yoga can help your students in different ways, the better you can create value for yourself as a yoga instructor. Understanding the health benefits of yoga is an important part of providing a fulfilling and rewarding service to your students. Below we help to break down 9 different health benefits of yoga.
The American Heart Association actually has a fairly thorough recommendation surrounding yoga and its health benefits on the heart. On their site, here they say that “yoga can help lower blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve respiratory function & heart rate, and boost circulation and muscle tone.” Yoga is a unique exercise because it combines deep breathing, physical exercise, and meditation. All of the these combined, help to reduce our stress levels ultimately helping our heart health to improve. The physical aspect of yoga helps also helps to strengthen our hearts.
There’s a few different ways that yoga can have a positive impact on sleep. Physical exertion from a healthy yoga practice can help your body seek out rest. When we practice yoga and meditation, it lowers cortisol levels from stress in the body. This in turn, helps our sleep improve. Yoga and meditation helps to quiet the mind’s chatter, also helping us to sleep better. Another way yoga can help you get to sleep better is through breath practice. Breath is an important part of yoga, and as many experts have noted; slow breathing patterns can help to relax the body and help you get to sleep faster.
3. Relieve Back Pain
The “Annals of Internal Medicine” published results from a 3 year study that found a weekly yoga class helped to increase mobility more than traditional treatment for chronic or recurring back pain. There are many other studies with similar results published online – its fair to say that yoga can certainly be an effective method of relief for people suffering from back pain. Yoga helps to strengthen key muscle groups in the back and also stretch them at the same time. It also helps us to maintain proper posture to protect and strengthen our spines.
4. Muscle Tone
As you are putting yourself into different yoga poses, you are using your muscles to support the weight of your body. This is essentially doing body weight training to help tone and tighten our muscles. Power yoga or cardio type yoga classes that focus on high energy yoga poses really help to strengthen and target key muscle groups for toning up.
As your body becomes more flexible through yoga practice, that flexibility is actually leads to a list of other health benefits. More flexible muscles can help to prevent injuries and leads to better back health. As our muscles stretch, also help to provide better blood flow and more effective delivery of different nutrients to our tissues.
Before famous middle distance runner, Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes, it was thought humanly impossible to accomplish it. After Roger Bannister did it, several other people shortly after were able to accomplish this incredible feat. How did Roger pave the way? With his breathing. Breath is an important part of exercise, and even more important part of yoga practice. Yoga promotes a heavy focus on breathing as a way to control the body and body. By enhancing our respiratory system, we begin to improve the the overall health of our bodies, including the brain, heart, and digestive systems.
More than ever we are learning how mental health and physical health are inseparably linked to one another. There is a compelling article here on newsweek that discusses how yoga can help several different mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, and psychiatric disorders. Ultimately, yoga provides a multi prong approach to quieting the mind through meditation and breathing.
8. Sinus Relief
There’s a great breakdown in the Huffington Post that addresses how yoga can cure sinus pain. In the article, the author breaks down the many different contributing factors to their sinus pain relief such as how inverted poses can help to clear sinus blockage, deep breathing contributes to an increased flow of oxygen. It also explains how our sweat can help to reduce different toxins within the body and how the endorphins from exercise can help to alleviate pressure in our sinuses.
9. Immune System
One of the best health benefits of yoga is an over all boost to your immune system. As we discussed earlier, yoga can help to strengthen your respiratory system. Our white blood cells are critical in helping to fight off colds and other infections. When we work to improve our respiratory function, our blood flow also improves. The improved blood flow becomes a delivery mechanism for this important internal defense. Also, yoga can reduce mental stress which is widely known to reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems.