Consider yoga the jack of all trades when it comes to the mind and body. Even the word itself embodies this essence! Yoga means to unite, symbolizing the union of mind, body, and spirit. So, it’s no surprise to learn, the benefits of yoga support mental, physical, and emotional health!
And, this harmonizing practice caters to the needs of any yoga student. Whether you need a therapeutic flow or sweaty workout, you can find a style of yoga for whatever you’re craving. This goes for your emotional needs, too! Feeling stressed or anxious? Having trouble sleeping? Turn to yoga for support.
Ready to get your om on? Read on to find out all the benefits of yoga, and how to make space for this healing practice in your fitness routine!
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
Reduce Muscle Soreness
Maybe you hit the gym too hard, or maybe your muscles are cramping after a long day of sitting behind the computer. Whatever the case, yoga can help relieve pain and reduce muscle soreness! Restorative poses such as Child’s Pose, Half Pigeon, and Supine Twist are deep stretches that can help release your muscles and stretch out any areas feeling tense or tight.
Strength & Flexibility & Balance
Improved strength, flexibility, and balance are some of the most commonly known benefits of yoga. Using muscles you wouldn’t normally use, holding postures for an increased period of time, and activating your stabilizing muscles help to build strength, flexibility, and balance. The more you practice, the more you will see an improvement in these areas!
Weight Loss Support
When it comes to burning calories, don’t undermine this practice! Depending on the style practiced, one of the benefits of yoga is the ability to torch some serious calories and shed unwanted weight. Plus, the lowered cortisol levels as a result of reduced stress is another important part of supporting weight loss efforts.
RELATED: Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
Trouble sleeping? According to research, yoga may be able to help. However, when using yoga to support sleep, it may be best to opt for restorative poses, while also focusing on your breathing to help relax the mind and body as opposed to doing vinyasa-style yoga flows too close to bedtime.
Regardless of the style of yoga you choose, you’ll notice a universal emphasis on spinal and muscular alignment! Not only will this help to prevent injury, but it will help to lean and lengthen your muscles and improve your posture.
The Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Let’s be real — this is the real reason why we all come to our mat! Numerous studies support the use of yoga for stress and anxiety reduction, indicating a benefit in overall wellbeing. The fusion of mindfulness and deep breathing in a therapeutic atmosphere are some of the ways yoga helps to lower cortisol and benefit the mind and body. The thought alone sounds relaxing!
Improve Focus and Mental Clarity
The cognitive benefits of yoga are becoming more widely studied and supported, with research indicating improvements in both focus and mental clarity. So, whether you’re experiencing brain fog or you feel like you just can’t seem to turn your mind off, rolling out your mat may be a simple solution.
Support Energy Levels
Skip the caffeine and opt for a natural energy booster. We get it — when you’re feeling fatigued, the last thing you want to do is get on your mat. But that post-yoga rejuvenation will have you thanking us! And, it doesn’t need to be long. Start with just five to ten minutes and see how you feel.
What Happens to Your Body When You First Start Doing Yoga
When you roll out your mat for the first time, it’s normal to feel intimidated! Maybe you’re struggling to settle into a pose, (unconsciously) comparing your practice to the yogi next to you, or having difficulty quieting your mind. Whatever the case, trust the process. Remind yourself — these emotions and sensations are perfectly normal. In fact, there’s no better (or safer) space to experience them.
Once you allow yourself to settle into your mind and body, the benefits will flow. You may notice your body feel lighter as tension starts to melt away. You may experience an opening in your chest with every conscious inhale and exhale. You may feel a sensation of calmness flood in as stress appears to exit. You may even experience weight loss, increased flexibility, and reduced pain or muscle soreness as you introduce new movements and fluidity.
While this may look different for everyone, there’s no questioning the mental and physical yoga benefits that will follow when you first begin your practice.
What Happens When You Make Yoga a Consistent Practice
If you ask any yoga student the benefits of making yoga a consistent practice, they will likely describe all of the above benefits (and then some!)
One of the best benefits of yoga is that every single yoga class seemingly feels like the first, in that the benefits of this therapeutic flow never lessen. In fact, the more you practice yoga, the more you will benefit! Regardless of how you show up to your mat, you’ll likely walk away feeling better.
A consistent yoga practice makes for long-term improvements in both mental and physical health. This could look like increased mindfulness and self-awareness, stronger muscles and reduced soreness, improved flexibility and range of motion, reduced stress and anxiety, or better sleep and coping mechanisms.
Ok, so what can’t yoga do? The benefits speak for themselves!
Weaving Yoga Into Your Fitness Routine
Are you ready to make yoga a part of your regular fitness routine? If you haven’t joined our community yet, sign up for free and gain access to our library of flows! With various styles (from Sleep Yoga to Yoga Sculpt) and class lengths (as brief as 8 minutes to over 30 minutes), you’re bound to find a practice that meets your needs. Get flowing and let the benefits follow suit!