We’ve all worn yoga pants and other athleisure wear and accessories when we’re not actually doing yoga, but if you haven’t been doing child’s pose or downward dog in a while, consider reincorporating these into your exercise routine. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual gangster that loves an early morning session of hot yoga or more of a casual yogi that enjoys the occasional downward dog after work, there are so many ways that practicing yoga can benefit you inside and out.
Yoga offers physical benefits that can improve your flexibility and tone your muscles, and it’s also a holistic practice that can harmonize your mind, body and spirit. From fostering emotional resilience to reducing stress, let’s look at ten ways that practicing yoga can benefit your health.
- Improve Flexibility — Yoga postures can gently strengthen your muscles while stretching them to help you gradually improve your flexibility over time. Your improved flexibility can enhance your range of motion while reducing the possible risk of injuries. Yoga is a great way to improve your overall physical performance.
- Increase Strength — When we think about doing yoga, we often think about stretchy poses. While yoga can certainly improve flexibility, it’s also a powerful tool to help you increase your strength. Doing poses like the warrior pose, holding a plank or stretching in a downward dog can increase your strength by engaging various muscle groups. If you’re looking for a total body workout that can increase strength in your back, legs, arms and core, you’ll find that regular yoga practice will increase your overall strength and improve your muscle tone.
- Balance Your Physical Body — Yoga can also help you balance your physical body by enhancing your stability. You’ll improve your coordination and body awareness with consistent yoga practice, where you strengthen your muscles to develop better balance.
- Balance Your Emotional State — Research shows that there’s a correlation between practicing yoga and mental health, where participants who consistently practiced yoga for ten months were less anxious and depressed during and after their months of consistent yoga practice. Because yoga encourages mindfulness and self-regulation, you’ll find you have a deeper connection with your emotions and your body.
- Reduce Stress — It’s time to say, “Om!” Yoga promotes relaxation and reduces stress through mindful breathing and gentle movements. Yoga is also a meditative practice that can help activate your body’s relaxation response, aiding in calming your mind and improving your ability to deal with everyday stress. Suddenly, you may find yourself saying “namaste” to all those triggers.
- Sleep Better — To help you get a better night’s sleep, try practicing yoga before bedtime. The gentle stretching and relaxation techniques can release tension in your body and quiet your mind. Overall, it’ll help improve your sleep quality and even lead to increased energy levels.
- Boost Mental Clarity — Because yoga integrates your mind and body, you’ll sharpen your focus and boost your mental clarity. Yoga requires you to be fully present in whatever moment you’re in, so regular yoga practice can improve your concentration and enhance cognitive function.
- Have More Energy — If you’ve ever heard of the runner’s high, you can get that similar energy boost after doing yoga. It’s a great way to start your morning or end your day. If you’re headed to work or for a drink out with your friends right after, accessorize with functional jewelry. Ultra-comfortable silicone jewelry can take your outfit from a workout look to a night-out look. Not to mention it looks oh-so-chic when you’re doing one of your asanas.
- Get Better Posture — So many of us do work where we’re sitting for extended periods of time. We’re all guilty of hunching over our smartphones, leading to poor posture and all the negative effects of typing too much and staring at our screens for too long. To help correct postural imbalances, do yoga. You’ll strengthen your core muscles, open your chest and realign your spine. In addition to improving your overall posture and physical appearance with a straighter posture, you’ll also prevent muscle strain and back pain.
- Lessen Anxiety — To help calm an overactive mind, many people suffering from anxiety and depression look to yoga. The mind-body connection of regular yoga practice can help you manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga is one of those mutually spiritual and physical practices that foster a positive mindset with an emphasis on compassion for one’s self and others.
Many of us live a fast-paced work life with stress, anxiety and far too many hours sitting in a chair or standing on our feet. It’s important to have an outlet where you can cultivate inner peace and restore balance in your life. Yoga offers a space for mental clarity and physical fitness, and you can look the part with an array of workout accessories that can be worn before, during and after that hot yoga sesh.