5 Health Benefits of Yoga

With all of the new fitness trends of the past few years, it’s a miracle that anything stays popular for more than 6 months- but yoga’s popularity has been steadily rising in the past two years, making it well over the 6 month mark.

Why? It harbours tons of health benefits. The health benefits of yoga can be gained by simply doing yoga in your living room every few days. You don’t have to go to the gym or buy special workout clothes to get a good yoga fix- you can enjoy it your own way.

If the aspect of doing yoga in your own home, and on your own time isn’t enough to entice you, these health benefits will.

1. Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol

Yoga lowers your blood sugar, and reduces the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in your blood stream. Having a high blood sugar increases your risk of heart attacks, blindness, and kidney failure so it’s important to manage these conditions with a low impact workout like yoga.

2. Improves balance

If being uncoordinated is a relevant problem for you, then yoga could be your remedy. Many positions that yoga put you into test a persons balance. From standing on one leg, to balancing your weight on your shoulders with your feet in the air, there’s bound to be a few poses that can help you improve. For the elderly, the benefit of better balance is key, as better balance leads to fewer falls and injuries.

3. Better sleep

It’s good to be stimulated by your surroundings, but relaxing is just as, if not more important than stimulation. Yoga is a great way to relax the body and mind, making you less tired, and less likely to have any accidents throughout your day. Good relaxation is an important key to get better sleep, as it improves the quality, and influences how fast you fall asleep and how many times you wake up during the night.

4. Prevents IBS and constipation

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation problems can increase during stressful times. Yoga aids in the correction of constipation by getting the blood moving and pushing food through the bowels at a quicker pace. Yoga poses that include and focus on relaxing your stomach muscles are great helpers when it comes to treating a nasty case of IBS.

5. Releases muscle tension

Everyday life can be stressful, and often people walk around with their muscles tensed up without knowing it. Everyday habits can cause muscle fatigue, chronic tension, and soreness of the wrist and arms. These habits include the unconscious habit of scrunching the face up when looking at a computer or small phone screen.

As a person gets into yoga, he or she begins to realize where their tension lies, and with practice, can learn to relax those muscles. Small muscles like the tongue and eyes, can be relaxed with little to no practice, whereas bigger muscles like quadriceps, can take years to relax if they have been tensed for a long time.