Whether you’re looking for a way to lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, or lose weight, partaking in a regular yoga practice can help. The practice of yoga has been around for centuries, as it is known to help calm the body and the mind through a series of movements and challenging postures. In part one of this blog, we looked at some of the incredible benefits of yoga including flexibility, posture, balance, and strength. In part two, we’ll take a look at a few more common benefits of yoga and how it can help your mind and body.
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Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor or family physician may recommend you partake in a regular yoga class. High blood pressure can lead to a number of health issues including heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. According to a recent study that was published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, yoga is a great way to improve your body’s cardiovascular function. In one study, researchers examined people with hypertension, and compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) by having men and women lay down on a couch. After three months, the group that practiced Savasana noticed a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure.
Improve Your Circulation
Contrary to popular belief, yoga can really get your heart pumping and your blood circulating. This simply means that fresh blood and oxygen can be delivered to your cells and organs to help enhance their function. According to recent studies, the twisting poses in yoga are a great way to improve your circulation. In fact, one article says that, “Twisting poses wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in when the twist is released. Inverted poses encourage venous blood flow from the legs and pelvis back to the heart and then pumped through the lungs where it becomes freshly oxygenated.”
The practice of yoga has also been found to help thin blood, which can decrease the risk of heart attack and strokes in both men and women. Some popular yoga poses that you can practice to improve your blood circulation include chair pose, downward dog, and warrior.
Lower Your Cholesterol
As you may already know, cholesterol is a lipid that is found in the bloodstream. While the human body needs some cholesterol to function, too much LDL cholesterol can lead to a buildup of unwanted plaque in the arteries, blood clots, strokes, and even a heart attack. There have been numerous studies that say yoga can help to lower LDL cholesterol, but if you suffer from low LDL levels you should check with your doctor before you start practicing yoga.
Did you know that much of the pain we experience is due to our lack of motion and activity? Yoga is one physical activity you can do to help ease this pain. Once you get into the swing of a regular yoga practice, you may find that your body’s alignment has improved. When this happens, there’s a good chance the pain you feel in your neck, back or hips will start to dissipate. According to several scientific studies, both asana yoga and meditation can help to reduce symptoms of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other painful chronic conditions.
Do you feel like every time you turn around, you’re battling a cold or illness? If so, you probably have a weak immune system. This can stem from several different things such as lack of sleep, poor digestion, and chronic stress. Luckily, yoga can help you strengthen your immune system so you don’t feel so worn out and tired all of the time.
According to medical studies, yoga has been found to stimulate the four main physiological systems that are linked to your immune system. They include the circulatory, nervous, digestive, and endocrine systems in the body. Some yoga poses that are known to help strengthen immunity include bridge, shoulder stand, and head stands.
During your first yoga class, you’ll quickly realize that one of the main focuses throughout the class will be your breath. Throughout your yoga class, your teacher will constantly ask you to pay attention to your breath as you hold the more difficult yoga poses and postures. When you make a point to take deeper breaths, expand your lung capacity, and become more conscious of your breathing, it can help your lungs and airways function more effectively.
Sharpen Your Memory
Since the practice of yoga can improve blood flow to the brain, it’s no wonder that this physical activity is often called a brain-boosting workout. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, just 20 minutes of yoga a day can have major benefits on your brain. When researchers tested participants of the study, they found that the cognitive assessment test scores were significantly superior in those people who participated in yoga.
If you tend to feel bloated or constipated on a daily basis, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. According to recent studies, more than 100 million Americans have digestive issues. If you’re not getting enough physical activity, your intestinal muscles may become too relaxed. Luckily, practicing yoga can help with this. Since yoga couples exercise with rhythmic breathing, it can help clean and remove toxins from the body that may be left behind from a poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition where a person’s bones become brittle from a loss of tissue. This is often the result of hormonal changes or nutrient deficiency. To help prevent this condition from developing, many doctors recommend practicing yoga. Several studies show that weight-bearing exercises like yoga can help to strengthen bones and ward off osteoporosis.
As you can see, there are many benefits to practicing yoga. Whether you want to sharpen your memory, improve digestion or strengthen your immunity, yoga can help. If you’re shopping for a new yoga mat online, be sure to visit YoYo Mats online today. We offer an innovative, self-rolling yoga mat to help you simplify your yoga practice and life. Shop today!