5 Benefits of Adding Yoga to Your Fitness Routine

Woman in yoga pose in bright room
Credit: Oksana Taran / Unsplash

In recent years, yoga has gone from niche exercise, to global phenomenon. When day-to-day life gets hectic, fitness and wellness routines are often first to go. Setting a few minutes aside while at home, the park, gym, or studio isn’t always easy. We’re here to remind you, it’s always worth it.

Not to mention, the benefits are more than physical. They’re mental and emotional as well, especially with regular practice.

Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of yoga to bring you to, and keep you on the mat.

Yoga Improves Mental Health

Woman sitting in yoga pose in field
Credit: Benjamin Child/Unsplash

Yoga is the perfect way to slow down for a while. Hit pause on the daily grind for as little as 10 minutes with a quick session. You’ll almost immediately notice your stress levels decrease. The effects last for quite a while too.

Why? Several poses (asanas) are meant to help reduce anxiety and decompress. Many yoga practitioners (yogis) say they feel calmer for hours after their practice. In addition, practicing daily may positively impact people suffering from depression.

Strengthen Your Immune System

Woman in standing yoga pose
Credit: Zen Bear Yoga/Unsplash

When things get tough, our bodies produce stress hormones. In turn, these hormones reduce our levels of immunity. Yoga can also help your body’s immune system fend off sickness. How so? Regular practice may drastically increase circulation.

As a result, inflammation in the body and stress levels may decrease, leading to better health and less disease.

Yoga Strengthens the Body

Woman in arm balance yoga pose
Credit: Katie Bush/Unsplash

Want to become stronger? Yoga is an effective way to significantly build physical strength. In fact, some professional athletes incorporate yoga into their training regimens. The warrior pose series (virabhadrasana) is a great example of how yogis develop strength in the lower body.

Similarly, arm balances, planks, and boat poses can help develop core and upper body power.

Get More Energy

Woman jumping at top of mountain range
Credit: Peter Conlan/Unsplash

It’s well-documented that regular exercise can increase overall energy levels. A consistent yogic practice is no exception. While other types of training are more rigorous and fatigue-inducing, even the most demanding yoga sessions can be gentler.

How exactly does yoga give you more energy? First, it helps release endorphins throughout the body, which leads to an energy boost. Next, by stretching and waking up the spine with inversion poses, backbends, and proper breathing, more oxygen goes into the blood, which eventually circulates to the brain.

Sleep Better and Longer

Woman sleeping in bed on stomach
Credit: Maddi Bazzocco/Unsplash

When was the last time you woke up feeling well-rested? Most people understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. What many don’t know, is that yoga may improve not only how much you sleep, but how well you sleep. If you’re feeling restless before bedtime, do as the yogis do, it may be the solution.

Yogis at almost every level can attest to sleeping more soundly, for longer periods of time, and consequently having less insomnia. The reasoning behind it is simple. If you’re feeling better mentally and physically, it translates to improved sleep.

Regardless of your reason for doing yoga, the benefits are plenty, from overall well-being, to physical strength, and better sleep. Adding this type of exercise to your fitness routine can make a huge difference in your lifestyle. You’ll feel and possibly even look better too.

Will you be getting on the mat? If not, what’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Kyle Bernard

In his free time, Kyle is a photographer, writer and proud plant dad. He’s a lifelong fan of Japanese anime and casual student of the culinary arts. Born in the Caribbean and raised in Canada, he enjoys laidback atmospheres and nature. After graduating from McGill University, he went backpacking for nearly 2 years through the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and has deepened his appreciation for travel and culture.

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