10 Scientifically Backed Benefits of Yoga – A Brief Overview



Even though yoga has practiced for ages, Yoga has become fairly popular globally in recent times. Practicing Yoga helps people pause – physically and mentally – from otherwise mundane and hectic lives. Even though media outlets have led many to believe that Yoga is all about physical poses, there’s much more to it than what meets the eye. 


It is about a collection of self-disciplinary and contemplative practices, such as rituals, meditation, chanting, and more. 


The primary aim and even the meaning of Yoga, directly or indirectly, is connection. Yoga connects your mind, body and soul, allowing you to control your mental and physical faculties like never before.

It is an incredibly positive and helpful practice for your overall well-being, and if you haven’t started it already, it’s about time!


So, what are the scientifically-backed benefits of Yoga? Let’s find out –


Lara Richards practicing Yoga at the beach in Coffs Harbour

Top 10 benefits of practising yoga every week



More Flexibility 


One of the benefits of practising Yoga is enhanced flexibility, as found by two leading Yoga organisations – Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal.


These organisations conducted surveys with various Yoga related statistics to quantify what Yoga helps with most as per the people. The top reason why most people started Yoga was improved flexibility.

 

Interested people can partake in various forms of yoga poses and exercises that help with improving flexibility, among other things. There are many different exercises and styles of Yoga varying in intensity and ease-of-performing.

 

Even if you regularly do yoga exercises with the lowest intensity, know that it helps with enhanced flexibility. Yoga can also slow down loss in flexibility due to ageing, making it as popular as it is today. 



Relieves Stress

In the survey mentioned earlier, the first reason people gave about why they started doing Yoga was flexibility and you guessed it right; the second reason was relieving stress. Chronic stress can affect your mental and physical health, and in the long-term, can give rise to tons of other health ailments. 


Performing various Yoga asanas are known to help relieve stress effectively, helping you gain clarity, think clearly, and focus.


Yoga is not only about physical exercises but also about improving your breathing, mental health, focus, etc. Get rid of that stubborn stress with Yoga - it works!



Better Mental Health


About 4 million people in Australia alone suffer from various forms of mental health issues.


A study conducted in 2017 showed positive mental health results in people practising Yoga, making Yoga an official alternative treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

 

Mental and physical health is interconnected, and you can’t focus on just one to live a healthy life.


Yoga helps you create a balance by evenly distributing your thoughts positively while helping you sweat it out at the same time. It not only reduces stress but keeps mental health issues at bay. 



Reduce Inflammation


Prolonged inflammation can prove to be devastating to your health. It can lead to arthritis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, hypertension, ulcers, tumours, strokes, heart diseases, cancers, and more. In a way, inflammation is the precursor to a range of diseases. 


Yoga helps reduce inflammation in the body, as per one study. It showed a reduction in biochemical markers across various chronic conditions for inflammation. 



Improved Strength & Stamina


While Yoga is typically associated with poses, stretching, and flexibility, many of the ‘asanas’ aim to improve strength, stamina, and endurance. It primarily depends on the type of yoga class, teacher, and the overall approach you’re following.

 

It makes Yoga a multi-dimensional and multimodal form of exercise. A study conducted on-air force personnel found Yoga to be highly effective as a strength and endurance training practice. 



Reduces Anxiety


Yoga Nidra, which is a kind of guided meditation, has conclusively proven to help with reducing chronic stress and reducing anxiety. Many of the studies conducted have helped Yoga become an alternative treatment for mental health issues, especially anxiety disorders. 


As one of the biggest undercurrent epidemics globally, it only makes sense to use proven techniques to ease the symptoms of mental health disorders. 


Boost Immunity


When you’re constantly under stress, it negatively impacts your immune system. A compromised immunity invites a ton of health ailments. As mentioned earlier, Yoga helps relieve stress. 


The stress markers are reduced by practising Yoga, elevating your immunity and body’s ability to fight off diseases and health issues.


Yoga helps reduce inflammation in the body and enhances cell-mediated immunity, which goes a long way to boost your immunity. 


Better Sleep


The measurement of asleep is taken by a person’s ability to stay asleep and fall asleep. People who have insomnia may have trouble with one or both of these aspects. 


Practising Yoga can help improve sleep quality, lengthen deep sleep, and help people fall asleep quickly. Yoga has proved to be delightfully helpful for people who have insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders.


Improved Bone Health


Yoga poses or asanas, as they are called, are mainly isometric contractions. It means the muscle's length doesn’t change with the poses but are fully engaged. It is similar to a workout but different. 


Many studies conducted over the years have shown that practising Yoga regularly helps improve bone density and even reduce bone loss due to ageing, which may otherwise cause osteoporosis and osteopenia. 


Enhanced Brain Functioning


Practicing Yoga has many benefits, and one of them includes improved brain functioning and activity. It activates the areas of the brain responsible for focus, attention, motivation, neuroplasticity, and executive functioning. This helps with shaper memory, fight memory loss due to ageing, and better reflexes. 


While the research on the benefits of Yoga is still ongoing, it has proved to be an effective practice to stay physically and mentally active. It is an ancient form of exercise that has proved its mettle in the scientific light. 


It not only has a positive impact on our body, overall well-being, and mental health but helps us introspect in ways more than one can imagine. 


It reconnects us to our mind, body, and soul, which is integral to gaining clarity in life, reducing stress, and feeling happy and positive. 



What are the health benefits of practicing Yoga for you?


At Just Breath Wellness Studio we'd love to know what's inspiring you everyday, how is Yoga benefiting you?


Feel free to reach out to Lara Richards for a Yoga class in Coffs Habour and keep your body moving!