Health Benefits of Yoga


Yoga is a spiritual practice, but it can also be physically demanding. It is recommended that students have a medical professional evaluate their health before starting yoga classes.

A consistent yoga practice may lead to improved self-esteem and a sense of well-being. It may also reduce stress and bolster the immune system.

Improved Flexibility

While yoga has a reputation for being an intense physical workout, the truth is that it can be as gentle or as vigorous as you choose. Incorporating yoga into your exercise regimen can increase flexibility, strength and balance, and improve breathing.

Studies have shown that the benefits of yoga extend far beyond the physical body. In fact, it may help ward off illness and even slow down the aging process.

What’s more, yoga strengthens the immune system by influencing gene expression. So the next time you’re feeling under the weather, try adding some savasana (corpse pose) to your routine to boost your immune function. (1)

Increased Self-Esteem

Yoga can improve your confidence by helping you to learn how to love and accept yourself and your body. In addition, it can give you the strength to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. This is important for building a strong sense of self-confidence, which can help you to feel more confident in situations that require confidence like dates and job interviews.

In one study, researchers found that a short practice of yoga improved the adolescents’ state self-esteem by increasing their subjective sense of energy and control and their positive self-view. This is consistent with the findings of previous research suggesting that yoga can increase vagal tone, thereby influencing the autonomic nervous system and associated psychological outcomes. It is also possible that the short practice of yoga increases state self-esteem by directly influencing the sensory and emotional parts of the autonomic nervous system.

Reduced Stress

Practicing yoga is proven to have many benefits on one’s mental health. It’s a great stress reliever and helps manage anxiety and depression. It also helps improve overall quality of life.

Stress is a natural part of our lives but prolonged exposure to it can cause health problems such as gastrointestinal issues, sleep disturbances, fatigue and high blood pressure. Practicing yoga is a natural way to reduce stress, and it has been shown to improve quality of life.

It can also reduce tension in your body by stretching out your muscles. It also encourages the mind to calm and focus on the present. This is particularly beneficial for people with anxiety, as it can help to reduce tenseness and alleviate symptoms like panic attacks.

Better Sleep

Yoga’s combination of physical postures, breathing exercise and meditation has been shown to improve sleep. It can help people fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer, and it can relieve insomnia and reduce the frequency of waking during the night.

It has also been shown to reduce anxiety, which can make it harder to fall asleep. Yoga nidra specifically has been shown to promote sleep by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and dampening the sympathetic nervous response.

Studies have found that women experience both objective and subjective improvement in their sleep after yoga practice, compared to control groups. This was particularly true for peri/postmenopausal women. Other subpopulations such as cancer patients, pregnant women and those with osteoarthritis have seen similar results.

Better Relationships

For many yoga practitioners, a regular yoga practice transforms relationships by improving communication and strengthening the connection. For example, couples yoga, where two people participate together in a practice that requires them to balance, align and focus on each other, heightens intimacy.

Yoga also helps practitioners become more aware of themselves and their emotions, which can help them communicate better. This can lead to fewer arguments, less tension and greater happiness in the relationship.

One study that looked at yogis’ open-ended comments on whether their relationships were better or worse because of yoga found that positive within-person influences, such as increased mindfulness, underlie the impact of yoga on interpersonal outcomes like compassion and social connectedness. This suggests that self-compassion may complement mindfulness as an important component of yoga’s effects on relationships.