Five Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga
Exercise trends come and go, but there is almost no other workout program as lasting as yoga. It’s been with us for over 5,000 years, it has no less than 100 different forms. What several people don’t always realize is that yoga is useful beyond calorie burning and muscle toning. It’s an overall mind-body workout that joins strengthening with stretching poses, performed with deep breathing and meditation.
Generally, yoga enhances flexibility and controls stress, but it can do so much more than that. These not-so-known benefits will help you in many facets of your everyday life and give you five solid reasons to learn the discipline:
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Researchers from Harvard established that eight weeks of day-to-day yoga dramatically increased sleep quality for people suffering from insomnia. And another study proved that yoga sessions conducted twice weekly gave cancer survivors better sleep and less exhaustion. This can be attributed to the stress-busting ability of yoga. Sleep problems are no different from anxiety. Your head just keeps spinning, and you can’t get it to relax. Breathing and mental exercises slow down the mind, so you’ll soon begin to notice improvement in your sleep.
3 Lessons Learned: Yoga
Better Sexual Performance
Studies indicate that three months of yoga can enhance sexual performance for men and women alike. How does it occur? On the physical level, yoga boosts blood flow into the genital area, which is crucial to arousal and erections, and strengthens the pelvic floor, which is also called the “moola bandha.” Simultaneously, the breathing and mind control that the practice entails can also psychologically drive performance.
Researchers from the University of Washington found that habitual yoga practice is related to mindful eating, which is essentially an awareness of both the physical and emotional sensations linked to eating. By developing breath awareness, the connection between mind and body is bolstered by yoga. Such awareness can make you understand the emotions behind certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can relax you so that you make smarter choices whenever your cravings hit.
The source of migraines isn’t totally understood, but it might be a mishmash of mental stress and physical dissonance that creates this problem. Slumping over a cellphone or computer may lead to overlifting of the trapezius muscles, causing neck area tightening and possibly contributing to migraines.
Immune System Booster
According to a recent Norwegian study, yoga can produce changes in gene expression that enhance cellular immunity. And it won’t take long for this to happen: the researchers saw the changes happening to the participants while they were still on the mat, and these changes were dramatically greater than those in a control group that went hiking while listening to relaxing music. Moreover, yoga also helps in boosting immunity simply by boosting overall health.