RELIEF: 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.
RELIEF: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have
demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures),
meditation or a combination of the two, reduced
pain for people with conditions such as cancer,
multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension
as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, and
other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report
that even emotional pain can be eased through
the practice of yoga.
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.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility,
increasing 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. Yoga also
helps to improve body alignment resulting in better
posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint
and muscle problems.
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
MANAGEMENT: Yoga (even less vigorous
styles) 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.
CIRCULATION: Yoga helps to improve circulation
and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently
moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
CONDITIONING: Even gentle yoga practice
can provide cardio- vascular benefits by lowering
resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving
oxygen uptake during exercise.
ON THE 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, coordi- nation, reaction time and
INNER PEACE: The meditative aspects
of yoga help many to reach a deeper, more spiritual
and more satisfying place in their lives. Many
who begin to practice for other reasons have reported
this to be a key reason that yoga has become an
essential part of their daily lives.