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The Western culture is starting to appreciate the many benefits of yoga, which is more than a fashion trend of showing up in leggings and a tank to stretch it out with your girlfriends. There are many scientific studies that have found out the benefits of yoga. If you haven’t read any of those studies, don’t worry. Here’s a list of the ways yoga can improve your overall health.
It Builds Muscle Strength
Have you ever looked at someone walking into a yoga studio? If they are wearing a tank top, you might be impressed by the well-sculpted muscles. Strong muscles are more than just an attractive feature. They prevent falls in elderly people and work to protect the body from back pain and arthritis. Rather than just going to the gym to lift weights, you can use yoga to improve both strength and flexibility.
It Improves Flexibility
You could easily say that improved flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits associated with yoga. Many people heading into a class can’t touch their toes or bend over backward. However, as you keep at it, you will loosen your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and every other element keeping your body tight. You may notice aches and pain subsiding and eventually disappearing you realign the different areas of your bodies. Back pain can be caused by a flattened lumbar spine, a condition that initially develops because of tight hamstrings. Over time, a lack of flexibility affects your posture.
It Supports Good Posture
The big round ball perched on the top of your spine needs to be properly aligned if you want the neck and back muscles to support it. Yes, that big round ball is your head. When your posture is out of line by just a few inches, trying to support your head without straining other muscles is impossible. You may not feel sharp, shooting pains, but the excess stress on the body’s support system can lead to increased fatigue. The more you slump or defensively respond to misalignment, you create a bigger problem with poor posture. This ultimately leads to new aches and pains. Yoga aids with improving your posture and teaching you how to keep your body in proper alignment.
It Improves Sexual Activities
Yes, you read that right. Yoga is widely appreciated for its positive impact on women's sexual health. While it may not give you the pleasure-enhancing effects of Scream Cream, yoga is known for reducing stress levels. Stress is a leading factor in a female’s ability to enjoy sex and receive satisfaction and orgasm. Yoga also teaches you to be more in tune with your body and your mind, enabling you to take control of the motions, movements, or sensations that you feel will bring the best results or pleasure. Yoga activities also make your body more limber, a benefit for those that like to get creative with their sex positions.
It Prevents Breakdown
Too few people get the full range of motion out of their joints since the joints are never pushed and stretched. Yoga activities change this. It can help prevent degenerative conditions like arthritis and help limit disability breakdown in areas of cartilage that are rarely used. Joint cartilage works like a sponge. It is only able to receive fresh nutrients when the existing fluid build-up is squeezed out. This leaves room for a new supply to be soaked up. Without a continual exchange of old and new fluids, the cartilage will wear out more quickly and expose layers of the underlying bone.
It Improves Bone Health
Weight-bearing exercises are highly advised to help strengthen bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis. The different postures you will assume in a yoga class count as weight-bearing exercise. The downward and upward-facing dog positions work to strengthen your arm bones, which are more susceptible to osteoporotic fractures. One study also found the yoga can increase bone density in the vertebrae. As an additional benefit, yoga relieves stress, therefore lowering the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol steals calcium from the bones, so reducing cortisol levels can help preserve calcium levels.
It Improves Blood Flow
Yoga helps keep your oxygen-rich blood flowing through your body. The relaxation exercises improve the circulation to your extremities, helping oxygenate the cells all over your body. When your body engages in the twists and stretches, the movements contort and squeeze out venous blood from the organs and make room for a new rush of oxygenated blood. Your lungs and heart benefit from the oxygen in the blood and helping relieve cardiovascular conditions, reducing kidney problems, and minimizing the risk of blood clots or strokes.
Yoga isn’t just for the rich and famous or those who look good in leggings. Everyone can benefit from the stretching, twisting, and balancing that accompanies a yoga routine.
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