- Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that combines postures, breathing techniques and meditative practices to improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being
- The physical health benefits of yoga make it a useful workout for athletes, like runners and swimmers, since it helps improve athletic performance and prevent injuries
- While yoga is generally beneficial to many people, you should consult a professional trainer before including it into your routine
Yoga provides a variety of physical benefits, such as increased strength and flexibility, better balance and improved range of motion. It may also help maintain and/or improve your cognitive and mental health by improving your memory and concentration, reducing your stress levels, and fighting mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Research also shows that yoga may help ease several medical conditions, like arthritis, asthma and heart diseases, among others.31
Not every type of yoga may be suitable for your body. When choosing the type that you want to take up, make sure that you consider not just your interests, but your fitness level and health condition too. Talk to a yoga instructor to find out which style matches your health goals. Don’t hesitate to ask about the physical demands and intensity of the type of yoga that you’re interested in.11
Yoga Provides a Wide Array of Health Benefits
It’s no big secret that yoga can improve your overall well-being in a variety of ways. Here are some of the major physical and mental health benefits that you can get from this workout routine:16
|Increased flexibility||Better balance||Improved strength|
|Higher stamina||Better body alignment||Reduced stress levels|
|Improved mood and behavior||Enhanced mindfulness|
The physical health benefits of yoga also make it a useful workout for athletes, like runners and swimmers, since it helps improve athletic performance and prevent injuries.17 Yoga’s potential for healing has also been the subject of numerous studies over the past years. Research shows that the right set of yoga poses may indeed help relieve several medical conditions, such as:18,19
|Chronic low-back pain||Hypertension|
|Mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression||Insomnia|
|Asthma||Carpal tunnel syndrome|
Take Note of These Precautions Before Adding Yoga Into Your Workout Routine
Keep in mind that everyone’s health condition, fitness level and health goals are different. While yoga is generally beneficial to many people, you should consult a professional trainer before including it into your routine. While this form of meditative activity is generally considered safe for any age or gender, there are still situations wherein it may put your safety at risk.
If you have underlying health issues, such as herniated disc, eye conditions, severe bone disorder, uncontrolled blood pressure and balance problems, you should consult your doctor first before taking up yoga, since there may be poses or stretches that are not suitable for your condition.
Make sure that you also seek the guidance of a professional trainer if you’re planning to do yoga while pregnant, since there are certain poses that you may need to avoid.29 Remember that the goal of yoga is to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. The last thing that you want is to harm yourself just because you tried to perform it without ample knowledge or help from a professional.
For more info, see: Dr. Mercola’s “What Happens to Your Body When You Do Yoga?”