Yoga helps with flexibility, relaxation, and fitness. We’re often calm and zen after our yoga session and we feel like we’re ready to go on with our day in the best way possible. But, did you ever wonder if practicing yoga has benefits that go beyond that?
Surprisingly, practicing yoga has benefits that go beyond the obvious. We asked our team of yoga instructors to put together a list of five yoga benefits you never thought of. The results were completely surprising!
1- It protects your heart:
There is a reason why you always hear your yoga instructor talk about “opening your heart”. This is not just hypothetical! Yoga can reduce high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and stress. These are all risk factors for heart disease. Moreover, performing savasana (the corpse pose) is associated with greater improvement in blood pressure compared to simply lying on the couch.
2- It makes you smarter:
Yoga improves the brain’s ability to quickly and accurately process information even more than running. It encourages you to be in the present moment and pay attention. Being mindfully aware has been correlated with structural changes in the brain. They are specifically in regions associated with executive function, working memory, and attention.
3- It cultivates a resilient mind:
Practicing yoga requires you to breathe deeply and hold uncomfortable poses during sessions that last an hour or more. Despite the difficulty of maintaining such positions, most people are still able to focus and finish the class. This resilience to discomfort is actually teaching you how to deal with unpleasant circumstances in your life.
4- It can help you eat better:
People who practice yoga regularly, eat more mindfully. This is due to the fact that yoga encourages you to focus your breathing and the sensations in your body. By doing that, you’ll be training your brain to notice what’s happening in your body. It will help you pay more attention to sensations of hunger and satiety which in turn will help reduce emotional eating or eating even after being full.
5- It balances your hormones:
Yoga helps bring your entire system back into equilibrium. As a result, it affects the glands of the endocrine system whose job is to secrete hormones in the body. Which is why, when you’re practicing yoga, you’re automatically nourishing these glands both physically and energetically.
Did you ever experience yoga benefits that go beyond the usual? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.