So you've been practicing your down-dog for a while and are OM-ing with the best of them, but did you know yoga has a ton of benefits you probably didn't even know about? In addition to improving flexibility, building muscle tone, and making you feel like a warrior princess, here are five other little known benefits of the wellness-workout:
It Helps You Focus
A regular yoga practice has been proven to increase your memory, coordination, reaction time, and IQ! All those inversions and savasana sessions can even help you solve problems quicker and retain more information. Who knew a workout could make you smarter?!
It Relieves Back Pain
Its been shown that yoga can help relieve back pain even better than regular care. In several studies, people with chronic back pain reported better results after a few months practicing regular yoga because of it's positive effects on the spine.
It Lets You Sleep Easier
According to a research institute in Seattle, yoga was one of the most effective approaches to getting a good nights sleep. Because of it's ability to increase circulation and calm your mind, it might be exactly what you need to get a good nights rest.
It Reduces Arthritis Pain
Yoga has been linked to reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In 2014, a study of women with knee osteoarthritis found that those who practiced yoga regularly saw significant improvement in their pain levels. In 2015, a different study found that women with rheumatoid arthritis saw improvement in health, walking ability, pain levels, energy, and inflammation after taking two yoga classes a week.
It Makes You Happy
Yoga puts in emphasis on breathing mindfully, which many experts believe is the key to lowering stress and improving mood. In addition to this, the endorphins released during a Vinyasa or Ashtanga class also can help get you out of your funk (especially with summer coming to a close).
So there you have it! Not only is yoga a fabulous workout, but it improves your mind and body connection. Whether you drop in to a class at a local studio or practice on your own, yoga undoubtedly has a multitude of health benefits that you can get in on. Namaste, yogis!