7 Reasons To Practice Yoga Every Day
Guest post by Andrew
You’ve heard of yoga before. Maybe you’ve even taken a class or two. But do you know the benefits of regularly including yoga in your lifestyle?
As it turns out, you don’t have to be an ascetic or a spiritual seeker to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of this ancient discipline. In fact, no matter what your current level of fitness is, there’s a yoga class or routine out there that’s perfect for you.
Here are seven reasons you should make yoga part of your everyday life.
7. Yoga can improve your sex life.
Yoga can give your sex life a boost, and not just because of all the crazy poses you’ll master. The way yoga benefits your libido is twofold. First, it de-stresses you and helps you get into the moment, which can put you in the mood. Second, it strengthens your body and tones your pelvic floor muscles, which improves your stamina and enjoyment. The benefit is doubled if you can get your partner to practice yoga with you!
6. Yoga helps with chronic pain.
If you suffer from arthritis, neurogenic pain, or any other type of chronic pain, yoga can lessen your symptoms. The benefit isn’t only physical, although stretching your muscles and strengthening your body can certainly help ease your discomfort. Researchers have found that both chronic pain and yoga can actually change the structure of your brain – and yoga may be able to undo the long-term damage that chronic pain does. Specifically, yoga prevents loss of gray matter in the brain, and it also strengthens the connectivity of white matter. It may even be more effective than pharmaceutical medications for pain.
5. Yoga strengthens your mind.
Yoga is well-known for strengthening the body, but it has equally impressive effects on the mind. All types of exercise boost your brainpower by increasing blood flow to the brain and releasing feel-good chemicals like endorphins. Yoga has the additional benefit of stimulating the release of GABA, another mood-boosting chemical, more than other types of exercise do. It also increases your alertness and improves your memory – benefits that can lead to better performance at work or school.
4. Yoga supports good mental health.
Yoga is well-known as a mental health booster. In fact, it’s even more popular for its mental and spiritual benefits than it is for its physical benefits. By doing yoga regularly, you can cut down significantly on your stress and anxiety levels, which helps you function better on a day-to-day basis. Yoga is also therapeutic for other common mental health problems, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD.
3. Yoga helps you sleep better.
If you struggle with insomnia, a better night’s sleep could be just a yoga session away. People who regularly practice yoga report an increase in both the quality and quantity of sleep that they get every night. Researchers aren’t sure what causes the link between yoga and better sleep, but it may have something to do with yoga’s ability to dissolve tension in the body. Getting better sleep naturally can decrease your need for sleeping medications, as well as staving off a number of insomnia-related health problems like heart disease, depression, and inflammation.
2. Yoga is a great workout.
Whether you’re currently a couch potato or you run marathons for fun, there’s a style of yoga that matches your current abilities. Yoga improves your balance, makes you more flexible, and strengthens your muscles. It’s also a gentle, low-impact form of exercise, meaning you’re unlikely to injure yourself doing it. Plus, there are so many different yoga classes and videos that you can change up your workout frequently and avoid overworking any of your muscle groups.
1. Yoga can make you happier.
The most compelling reason you should practice yoga every day is that it can actually make you happier. People who regularly do yoga report having a better quality of life in a number of areas, including better mental health, an increased feeling of serenity, and an increased ability to handle the stresses of everyday life. Yoga can make you feel more at home in your skin, more compassionate towards others, and more tuned-in to the present – and who wouldn’t love to get those benefits?
This post was written by Andrew of Happy Ranker, a semi-retired software engineer turned full-time health freak and part time code monkey.