What Does Yoga Do for You?

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According to Yoga Journal, regular yoga practice improves flexibility, increases muscle strength, improves joint flexibility and encourages healthy blood flow. Yoga stretches and poses also encourage healthy lymph drainage, which helps to boost immunity. Because yoga improves cardiovascular health, continued yoga practice can help to lower the risk of heart attack.

Self Magazine explains that in addition to physical benefits, yoga practice also helps to boost positive emotions in individuals who practice regularly. An hour of yoga poses raises the levels of GABA, a chemical in the brain that is linked to depression when levels are low.

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular yoga practice helps to minimize stress and promote relaxation. Yoga combines healthy stretching exercises with controlled breathing. It is designed to teach individuals that by controlling their breath, they can in turn control their bodies and release anxiety by quieting the mind. In addition to increasing immunity and promoting heart health, continued yoga practice may also help individuals who suffer from depression and sleep disorders.

The Mayo Clinic adds that it is important for individuals interested in taking up yoga consult with a physician if they have herniated disks, severe osteoporosis, blood clots, eye conditions or hypothyroidism.