What Yoga Does for the Body and Mind

What Yoga Does for the Body and Mind

We all know that exercise is good for us. We’ve been told since we were children that leading an active lifestyle leads to a decreased risk for health problems and an increase in quality of life. These benefits come with any exercise. So what makes yoga so special? 

Science is finally catching up with what yogis have been saying for years – yoga does crazy good things for both the body and the mind. Forget the common benefits like disease prevention. What if you could actually cure chronic pain, depression, and even avoid seemingly unavoidable sicknesses like colds? Regular practice of yoga can do all of this, and more. 

Better Sleep
Sleep problems plague millions of Americans, and the treatment we most often turn to is medication. Our fast-paced go-go-go society encourages more work, less sleep, and therefore heightened stress and anxiety. While we rely on quick fixes that we can down with a glass of water, our bodies are screaming for a natural approach. 

This is where yoga comes in. Studies have shown that yoga can help relieve chronic insomnia as well as sleep disorders associated with menopause. Not only were participants able to fall asleep with no medication, but they also reported a higher quality of rest and less fatigue throughout the day. 

Organ Detox
The word detox is thrown around a lot in trendy nutrition circles and is often found on the label of expensive drinks that promise to help you shed pounds without you lifting a finger! In the midst of all these false promises, yoga shines through with the light of truth. 

Your body naturally detoxes in a variety of ways. Lungs remove atmospheric chemicals, kidneys process and excrete toxins out of the body, and a very small amount of toxins leave through sweat. What yoga can do is help stimulate the organs and thereby aid in the process. Feeling bloated, fatigued, or under the weather? Maybe your organs need a little boost – which yoga can provide. 

Less Anxiety and Depression
While any aerobic exercise will help produce endorphins that help alleviate anxiety and depression, yoga can go much farther than that. Lately, “yoga therapy” has been popping up in several studies, and the results are impressive. 

The combination of meditation guided breathing, and challenging asanas that make up a yoga therapy program have been shown to reduce the impact of stress, improve energy, and make you feel happier overall. Both meditation and yoga focus on quieting and calming the mind, the source of much of our suffering as humans.   

Chronic Pain Relief
Yoga isn’t just for those in the peak of health. In fact, many yogis are people who are dealing with chronic pain, illness, and lifelong injuries. Not only does it gently work the body, but it also has psychological effects that are actually quite astonishing. Chronic pain has been shown to alter the structure of the brain, reducing the amount of gray matter and damaging white matter connections. Yoga and meditation practice can actually reverse this effect, and most impressive of all these reversal results in higher pain tolerance. 

On one front, yoga lessens the physical symptoms of chronic pain, and on the other, it increases your tolerance for what pain is left! Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Yoga isn’t just an exercise; it’s a lifestyle that has brought relief and a higher quality of living to hundreds of people. Will you be next?

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