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4 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Do Yoga

Here's how yoga benefits the mind, body and soul.

If there was one activity that could give your mind, body, and soul a boost (plus lean muscles to boot!), would you try it? Well, there is.

It’s yoga.  

While you may think of yoga as solely physical exercise (i.e., postures and breathing), the benefits go far beyond the mat. Yoga is an ancient practice developed in India that’s designed to better one’s quality of life on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And you don’t need to be a pro yogi (male) or yogini (female) to give it a go. Here are four health benefits of yoga that should convince you to get your “om” on.

1. Yoga’s mindful nature can help keep you slim. Mindfulness is a central theme in yoga, helping you stay in the present and savor life’s moments—especially at mealtimes. Mindful eating teaches you to listen to your body, so you know when you’re actually hungry or when you should stop eating. It can also help you enjoy your meal more, by helping you focus on—and appreciate—each bite.  

2. Yoga increases strength and flexibility. Yoga utilizes the weight of your body for its movements, which can help you build long, lean muscles. It also focuses heavily on stretching, which can make you more flexible, help relieve pain and even protect you from certain injuries. Side splits here you come! (This is one stretch you should do every single day.)

3. Yoga can improve respiration and help you have a healthy heart. Yoga’s focus on deep breathing can make your lungs more efficient, which may help you breathe easier. Yoga has also been shown to help keep your heart tickin’ happy, and possibly even help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

4. Yoga can boost your body image and outlook on life. Not only can yoga’s movements help you look and feel better physically, but it may also give your mental health some love too. Yoga helps you relieve stress and develop inner awareness and appreciation for your body, which may help you be grateful for all that you have in life. Check out this confidence-boosting yoga routine!

Ready to give yoga a try? You can do these routines from home in 10 minutes or less!

 

Duration: 0:51. Last Updated On: Dec. 11, 2017, 3:06 p.m.
Reviewed by: Preeti Parikh, MD, . Review date: Nov. 17, 2017
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