Yoga: Four hidden health benefits

Yoga: Four hidden health benefits

If you’re thinking about yoga, consider these health benefits.

07/20/2020

Yoga is a leading health-and-wellness practice, with about one in seven American adults claiming to practice yoga in a 2017 survey. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shuttered yoga studios temporarily and spurred many, on reopening, to expand their schedules to streaming and outdoor classes.

If you are thinking about yoga, consider these health benefits:
 

Reduces stress

One of the top reasons adults practice yoga is to reduce stress. The reflection and breathing used in yoga can help a person to relax and relieve tension.  


Relieves back pain

Yoga helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your lower back and spine. Dr. Lauren Elson, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School says “by carefully practicing yoga, people can safely improve their movement and strength while stretching tight and aching back muscles.” Reducing pain can improve your ability to walk and move.


Helps you sleep deeper

A recent study found that nearly half of U.S. adults experience sleep issues. Of those, 30% say they practice some form of mind-body exercise, including yoga. Doctors suggest practicing calming yoga poses and the Ujjayi Breath (ocean breath) before bedtime to sleep deeper.


Improves muscle strength

Yoga is a gentle way to build and maintain muscle strength with your own body weight. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Practicing yoga regularly will strengthen your arms, legs, core, and back. Positions can be modified based on an individual’s abilities.


Interested in trying yoga?

Yoga in Our City, sponsored by ConnectiCare, brings free yoga classes to parks in public spaces in four Connecticut cities – Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury – now through Oct. 10, 2020. The classes are open to everyone at all levels. Find schedules, safety guidelines, and more on yogainourcity.com.

 

Additional sources:
National Institutes of Health, accessed 07/02/2018
Harvard Health Publishing accessed 07/02/2018
Web MD, accessed 07/03/2018