More than 70% of Canadians regularly use complementary and alternative healthcare therapies such as vitamins, minerals, herbal products, homeopathic medicines and yoga to stay healthy and improve their quality of life.
Here are 10 reasons why yoga will improve your quality of life:
1. Stress Relief: After a yoga practice your mind and body will let go of some of the built up tension in your muscles and joints.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits: Getting into the various postures during a yoga session gently exercises the muscles. Anything that works your muscles is good for your heart and blood vessels. Activity also helps muscles become more sensitive to insulin, which is important for controlling blood sugar.
3. Breath Control: The deep-breathing exercises help slow the breathing rate. Taking fewer but deeper breaths each minute temporarily lowers blood pressure and calms the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for generating stress hormones. The postures and deep breathing offer a kind of physical meditation that focuses and clears the mind. Meditation and the mindfulness of yoga have both been shown to help people with cardiovascular disease.
4. Weight Loss: Yes it is true but not in the physical sense. Mentally Yoga will change the way you think and this is 90% of the weight loss battle. Yoga makes you want to take care of your body.
5. Yoga makes you look and feel younger: Developing a yoga practice helps you deal with stress, a major risk factor in age-related illness. A weekly practice will help you clear the mind and body of built up cortisol the hormone involved in stress.
6. Flexibility: You do not have to be a gymnast or dancer to do yoga. Flexibility is not a pre-requisite for yoga. Active stretching means you’re stretching a muscle by actively contracting the muscle in opposition to the one you’re stretching. A study in 2010 in the clinical journal of sports medicine found that active stretching had lasting long term improved range of motion.
7. Improved sex life: Developing a daily yoga practice has shown in studies that both men and women have reported an increase in arousal, better orgasm, and overall satisfaction due to increase testosterone levels (your sex hormone).
8. Boosts Immunity: A recent study in Norway found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. And it doesn’t take long: The researchers believe the changes occurred while participants were still on the mat.
9. Fights Food Cravings: Researchers have found that regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, an awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. By causing breath awareness, regular yoga practice strengthens the mind-body connection. The awareness can help you tune in to emotions involved with certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when cravings strike.
10. Improves Sleep: Researchers from Harvard found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia. And another study found that twice a week yoga sessions helped cancer survivors sleep better and feel less fatigued. This can be attributed to yoga’s ability to help people deal with stress.