7 Ways Yoga Helps Your Health

by Sarah Ruhlman

While you’ve heard of yoga, you might not have tried it yet. The principles behind it date back centuries, and many women love how empowered they feel after a class, whether they’re doing it at a professional studio or home. If you want to find out more about how yoga helps your health, this list is a must-read.

Sarah outside on a yoga mat

Ease Period Cramps

In the days leading up to menstruation each month, you might feel discomfort and cramping. The physical symptoms can be mild, severe, or somewhere in-between. Then there are also the feelings of being tired and irritable.

If you feel this way, certain yoga moves can reduce your cramps. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) and Cobra (Bhujangasana) are two great examples.

Menopause and Yoga

Typically occurring between ages 45-55, perimenopause marks the transition into menopause. During this time, you might experience symptoms that include hot flashes and fluctuations in mood.

Yoga can provide some relief for women who are perimenopausal. While yoga does not affect estrogen production, it can calm the nervous system by reducing the sympathetic nervous system and encouraging a relaxation response.

Flexibility

Regular yoga practice will help to improve your flexibility. The various poses stretch muscles and improve the amount of motion you can achieve with your body while wearing yoga socks for a superior grip.

The heightened flexibility is great for anyone who wants better posture and muscle coordination. You will also reduce the chance of muscle soreness or injury.

Better Breathing

Many people find that yoga helps them to breathe better. While you might not realize it, you likely take short breaths, especially when you’re under regular stress.

The many poses of yoga can help to improve breathing, particularly when breathing exercises are incorporated into the routine. A recent study found that participants in a 15-week yoga class with breathing exercises included had a substantial increase in vital capacity. Breathing improvements can help with endurance and lung health.

Eating Better

Being present in the moment is important in yoga. This approach can transfer over to your food habits, and you might start to practice mindful eating.

If so, then you will pay more attention than before to how food tastes and smells, as well as its texture. Putting a focus on mindfulness can help you make healthier food choices than you might have before doing yoga regularly.

Mental Health

Yoga can also benefit the mind as you start to experience a sense of calm both during and after your sessions. Along with practicing good posture during poses, you may also find yourself feeling good about how you are getting stronger and more flexible over the weeks.

Feeling good about yourself can put you in a good mood and even improve your social interactions. A positive body image is an awesome benefit of doing yoga.

Concluding Words on Yoga for Better Health

Researchers continue to study the benefits of yoga on the physical and mental health of women and others who are yogis. While life is hectic, it’s important to participate in activities that bring you joy and calm you down.

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