Why Should You Practice Yoga?

practice yoga

Yoga challenges flexibility, balance, strength and coordination. It also encourages mindfulness and concentration.

Studies show that yoga practitioners are happier. This may be due to the practice’s effect on heart rate variability and vagus nerve activity.

It is important for a yoga teacher to know how to deliver yoga philosophy to their students. One way is to use a yoga sutra at the beginning and end of class.


A regular yoga practice can improve strength, muscle tone, and body balance. It is low-impact and complements other exercise programs.

The active strength-building movements in yoga involve the use of your body weight to strengthen your muscles and increase endurance. Some yoga poses are also isometric, which requires you to hold your muscles in a contracted position. Examples of this include downward-facing dog, plank pose, and handstand.

Yoga also helps prevent injury by incorporating the full range of motion of your joints. This “squeezing and soaking” of joint cartilage keeps the area hydrated, and prevents it from degenerating over time.

Slower-paced yoga styles, such as Iyengar and Forrest, challenge your muscle endurance by encouraging longer hold times. This builds the strength needed to support you in advanced poses, such as firefly and handstand. Increasing your strength also leads to increased flexibility. The benefits of this combination are well documented. Studies have shown that it increases bone density, raises HDL cholesterol levels, and boosts brainpower.


Yoga is known for its ability to improve flexibility, and regular practice has been shown to strengthen muscles in the arms and legs. This can help reduce the pain of arthritis, and also make it easier to walk, climb stairs, or lift objects.

In a yoga class, students are often asked to hold a pose for five or more minutes at a time. This allows the muscles to release tightness and tension. Yoga also helps loosen the connective tissue, like tendons and ligaments. This can ease back and neck pain, and improve balance.

While research on yoga is limited, some small studies suggest that it may be helpful in improving balance and decreasing stress. Other studies have found that yoga can help increase flexibility in young people and older adults. However, more research is needed. Many different styles of yoga exist, including Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga. Some are slower paced, and some focus on using breathing techniques to reduce tension in the body.

Mental Focus

Yoga requires a steady flow of breath which helps to calm the mind and focus attention. The practice also boosts your ability to concentrate, which improves your memory.

Many postures, such as the deep hip opener, yoga pigeon pose, combine physical challenge with meditative tranquility. When you’re in a balancing pose, you have to focus on the movement of your own body and block out distractions like noise or other people. This mental focus translates to work and home life, allowing you to stay on task and eliminate unnecessary noise and clutter.

Regular yoga may boost mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid. It can also help reduce emotional reactivity by decreasing activity in the limbic system of the brain. You may notice that you hold more relaxed muscles in your hands, arms and neck as a result of your yoga practice. In short, yoga helps you to gain a sense of inner peace and self-esteem that you can carry with you throughout your day-to-day activities.


Many people find yoga relaxing, especially if they participate in it regularly over time. The calming effect it has on the mind and body helps relieve stress and anxiety. It also promotes better sleep, a healthy weight, and a healthier heart, according to research.

At a cellular level, practicing yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which sends signals to your heart and nerves to relax. This, in combination with the slow, mindful breathing that is integral to yoga, makes it an excellent stress-relief practice.

To get started with your yoga routine, find a quiet, clutter-free space to practice in. Make sure you have a yoga mat and a few extra props like a blanket or meditation cushion for support when seated. Begin by setting a clear intention for your practice, such as relaxation or self-care. Then, focus on your breath and stay present in each pose. Over time, your yoga routine will help you build strength, balance and flexibility and find a sense of inner peace.