5 Reasons to Practice Yoga

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Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for people with medical conditions who cannot engage in strenuous workouts. It can also help to improve balance.

During practice, focus on sensations in the body and remain mindful of your breath. It is important to never push yourself beyond your limit.


Yoga increases the flexibility of muscles, tendons, and other joints by stretching and strengthening your body. You’ll find that you can move your body with less effort and pain when it is flexible.

Most studies that measure flexibility use the sit and reach test or the splits test to assess flexibility. In one study, female college students who practiced yoga for 16 weeks had greater improvements in their flexibility scores than a control group that did not do yoga.

Flexibility is influenced by your body’s structure, the elasticity of healthy muscle fibers, and the stretch reflex. Striving for symmetry—genetically balanced flexibility on both sides of the body—is a good goal, but everyone’s body has its own limitations. That’s why it’s important to know your limits and avoid pushing past them.


For many people, the strength aspect of yoga may be a bit of an afterthought. But poses that require longer holds and more repetitions challenge the muscles in ways that other types of exercise don’t. This type of “time under tension” leads to muscle damage that helps the muscles rebuild stronger.

Another way that yoga increases strength is by requiring you to engage your core to hold the poses, especially during long holds. This requires a lot of balance and coordination.

One study of athletes showed that those who practiced yoga for 10 weeks outperformed their counterparts on measures of balance and flexibility. That’s because yoga teaches you how to move your body in a more efficient way. Functional strength is more important than bulky muscles.


Balance involves the coordination of many different body systems. Yoga poses challenge static balance, or the ability to stand still without swaying, as well as dynamic balance, or the ability to respond quickly to changes in the environment.

The practice of yoga can help to improve balance by strengthening the muscles in the feet, ankles, and legs that are necessary for stability. It can also enhance proprioception, or the awareness of one’s own movement in space.

When practicing yoga, it is important to stay within your limits and work with a knowledgeable instructor. Avoid fast-paced vinyasa classes, which can be a recipe for dizziness, and use props to assist with balancing poses. For example, placing a block under your hand can reduce the amount of sensory input from the hands, and focusing on a set point of focus (drishti) minimizes peripheral distractions.

Stress Management

Stress has been linked to a number of physical health concerns including gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure and fatigue. Yoga offers several ways to manage stress through breathing exercises, stretches and meditative postures.

The meditative aspects of yoga help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Additionally, studies have shown that yoga can improve mood and increase self-esteem while decreasing levels of pain and fatigue.

A regular practice of yoga can also help to regulate the autonomic nervous system which responds to stress by activating the sympathetic or fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system relaxes the body and slows the heart rate. When practicing yoga, it’s important to be mindful of your breath and try not to overdo it with the poses.


Spirituality is the belief in oneness with God or something greater than yourself. Many people use yoga as a way to get closer to their spirituality. It doesn’t have to mean that you leave your modern life behind and live in the forest like the Rishis or that you become a monk and meditate all day. It can be as simple as adding meditation to your weekly routine or incorporating philosophy into your practice.

Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can lead to higher levels of spirituality. This may be because yogic practices encourage you to become self-aware and can help you change the thoughts and interpretations you have about your life. However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted in Western societies. Therefore, further research is required to understand the spirituality effects of yogic practices.