Five Healthy Reasons To Give Yoga A Go

Posted on June 17, 2019

Five healthy reasons to give yoga a go

If you don’t know your downward dog from your dancer pose but you’re curious about the benefits of yoga, read on. Whatever your age or fitness level, there are lots of reasons to roll out your yoga mat and give it a go.

What is yoga?
Yoga consists of a wide variety of postures or poses, which are movements designed to make you stronger and more flexible, alongside breathing techniques.

Yoga originated in India about 5,000 years ago. Focusing on strength, flexibility and breathing, yoga is brilliant for both your physical and mental wellbeing.

There are classes for every age group, from children to advanced years, and for all fitness levels. Many yoga instructors offer one-to-one tuition, as well as classes tailored for a variety of abilities from beginner to expert.

Can I do yoga at home?
It is best to begin by attending a class so you can develop your yoga skills. Once you have learned some poses and perfected your breathing technique, you can continue your yoga practice at home using a DVD or online tutorial.

The benefits of yoga
As well as improving your strength, flexibility and balance, some studies have shown that regular yoga can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. Yoga can also help with depression and stress.

Here are five more reasons why you should try yoga.

1. Yoga can help you sleep better
If you struggle to switch off and get a good night’s sleep, yoga could help. Studies have shown that practising yoga regularly can improve the duration and quality of sleep.

The breathing techniques you learn will also help you to relax and unwind before bedtime, so you can enjoy sweet dreams of finally mastering that headstand.

2. Yoga can help with arthritis
Yoga offers a gentle way to gain strength and flexibility, making it a good choice for people with arthritis. Some research has shown that yoga can also reduce pain and mobility problems for those with knee osteoarthritis.

Find a teacher who understands your condition and can tailor their classes to your needs, and seek advice from your doctor or physiotherapist before taking up regular yoga.

3. Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety
Yoga is a slow, mindful exercise which focuses on the connection between the body and the mind. Studies have shown that this type of activity is better for boosting your mood and reducing stress than aerobic exercise.

4. Yoga can help you lose weight
Although yoga isn’t the best way to burn a lot of calories, it has been shown to aid weight loss in other ways.

The meditation and breathing techniques taught during yoga practice can help reduce stress levels, which in turn can prevent stress eating. Yoga also teaches mindfulness, which could help you to be more mindful about what you eat too. So if you are trying to lose weight, try combining yoga with your more intense workouts.

5. Yoga can prevent falls
By strengthening the ankles and knees, regular yoga can improve your balance and reduce your risk of a fall. Yoga is suitable for all ages, and many people don’t start practising yoga until they are older. So whatever your age, you could feel the benefits of taking up this ancient form of exercise.