8 Reasons Why You Should Start Yoga Today

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 4:56 a.m. PT

Originally published: March 28, 2018, at 2:39 p.m. PT

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Yoga has been practiced in a variety of different styles for thousands of years across the world. Through yoga and meditation, you usually spend a significant amount of time focusing on your breathing and stretching your body intentionally. Being mindful of your breath and body calms the mind, which allows you to relax.

Some individuals seek yoga to quiet their minds, work through restorative poses or general stress relief. Others may attend yoga for a powerful practice that builds strength, stamina, and flexibility. There are also a group of people who would like to experience both a great workout and a calming experience.

At the Y we offer a variety of yoga classes for beginners, intermediate, advanced to more advanced, for kids and for older active adults. The YMCA of Greater Seattle makes it possible for everyone to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of this practice.

8 Reasons Why You Should Start Yoga Today

1. Better Breathing

Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.

2. Yoga Relieves Stress

Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma, and insomnia.

3. Flexibility

Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing the range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Gradually they begin to use the correct muscles. Over time, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible.

4. Increased Strength

Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while these postures strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.

5. Cardiovascular Conditioning

Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

6. Be Present

Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.

7. Weight Management

Yoga can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well-being and self-esteem.

8. Improved Circulation

Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

Category: General Wellness