Yoga Overall Health Benefits
We’ve already seen how yoga can benefit some specific health conditions, improve fitness and flexibility, and decrease the risk of some diseases.
Here are a bunch more overall health benefits that yoga practitioners enjoy!
44. Relieves Constipation
Studies have focused on yoga as a treatment for children with irritable bowel syndrome and other related issues.
While there is no definitive data to say that yoga is an appropriate treatment for these gastrointestinal issues, there is promising preliminary data that demonstrates yoga’s positive effect on digestive problems such as IBS and constipation.
45. Reduces Allergy Symptoms
For allergy sufferers, every day can be a struggle.
While the sunshine and warm air may be tempting, they have to weigh the risk of going outside and suffering from an allergy attack.
Fortunately, there is some research showing that yoga can help to reduce allergy symptoms.
More research is needed, but this early research will pave the way for future studies in showing how yoga can be used to treat issues affecting the airways and nasal passages.
46. Helps Manage Menopausal Symptoms
Menopause can be a difficult experience for many women.
Not only are the physical symptoms difficult to deal with, the mental and emotional issues can be equally detrimental.
Yoga and meditation have been preliminarily found to reduce some of the mental stress associated with menopause.
This is encouraging news, as many women worry about the menopausal stage of life and struggle with the transition.
Further research will help to define the exact ways in which yoga helps with this process as well as outlining which types of yoga and meditation are best for this population.
47. Improves Health of Internal Organs
Through yoga’s ability to help us control our parasympathetic nervous system, it’s many positive effects on our body as a whole, and the way it aids in issues with our gastrointestinal system, it’s no wonder that yoga is helpful for the health of internal organs.
Yoga brings us greater awareness of our body processes and allows us insight into any minor changes that may be indicative of disease.
Hopefully, with further research, this will push more doctors to prescribe yoga for their patients.
48. Fine-tunes Gastrointestinal Function
Yoga practitioners tend to have better control over their GI system and better GI health overall.
While it’s unknown exactly how yoga affects the GI system on a physiologic level, it has been theorized that the practice positively influences the “brain-gut axis” and leads to improvement in GI health through this channel.
49. Strengthens the Immune System
One of the most important features of health is a strong immune system.
Luckily, yoga is an excellent way to strengthen the immune system and was found through a study to help the body resist the damage to cellular immunity caused by stress.
This is an incredibly important finding, as stress can negatively impact our lives in so many ways.
50. Increases Energy Levels
The practice of yoga has been found to improve both brain function and energy level.
This is excellent news in a time when more work needs to be done in shorter time frames.
While you may still reach for that morning cup of coffee or tea, it’s nice to know that yoga can lead to a rejuvenating and awakening feeling in those who regularly practice.
51. Improves Quality of Sleep
Yoga has such a beneficial effect on the mind and body that it can even improve the quality of our sleep when the practice is performed regularly.
In fact, when compared alongside natural supplements and chiropractic care, yoga was the better option in terms of improved sleep.
Sleep is incredibly important to overall health and yoga can help us get the most out of the hours we spend in our beds, away from all the stresses of the world.
52. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
In people with hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and other diseases, high cholesterol levels can be extremely dangerous and is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks.
Thankfully, yoga is an easy-to-implement option that has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels in individuals who were diagnosed with type II diabetes and were experiencing high cholesterol.
53. Improves Lymphatic System Function
One of the most common issues with the lymphatic system occurs in individuals with breast cancer.
These patients may develop lymphedema and will require a method of drainage to address the excess fluid that accumulates.
Yoga has been found to be an excellent tool for helping to address lymphedema in breast-cancer-related-lymphedema or BCRL.
54. Controls Blood Glucose Levels
For those diagnosed with type II Diabetes Mellitus, it is vitally important that blood glucose levels are monitored and kept within a healthy range.
Falling outside of the acceptable range can lead to mental confusion, dizziness, and in the worst cases death.
Yoga can help to control blood glucose levels in prediabetic and diabetic patients.
55. Improves Sodium and Electrolyte Balance
Because yoga can be a very demanding form of exercise that causes extreme sweating, your body is forced to be more efficient with regards to electrolyte balance when you regularly participate in yoga practice.
In onstudy, participants lost nearly 1.5L of sweat during a single session of Bikram yoga.
While sweating it out is good, it’s important to make sure that you eat a good meal and drink plenty of water to help balance out this sweat loss through yoga.
56. Improves Endocrine Function
Many of the processes in our bodies are controlled by hormones which are regulated by the endocrine system.
In disease processes such as diabetes, endocrine control is incredibly important and yoga helps these patients control their glucose levels.
More and more, we are finding yoga to be beneficial as an adjunct treatment for diseases of the endocrine system.
57. Lowers Triglyceride Levels
Triglycerides are the basic components of fats within our bodies.
When there are too many triglycerides circulating in our blood, it can lead to increased risk of disease and many other issues.
Yoga has been found to help patients control their lipid levels by increasing exercise and decreasing stress in these patients.
58. Increase Red Blood Cell Count
Exercise tends to create an increase in red blood cells.
Yoga specifically, has been found to improve white blood cell, platelet, and red blood cell count in practitioners.
More red blood cells allow us to work harder for longer by providing more oxygen to our cells.
This is encouraging information for athletes and average individuals who want to improve their endurance.
59. Raises Vitamin C Levels
Vitamin C has many benefits, including protection against immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, and eye disease. It has also been shown to help prevent skin wrinkling!
It has been shown that oxidative stress can lead an increase in free radicals which can neutralize Vitamins A, C, and E and even further exacerbate disease.
A 2018 study has shown that regular practice of yoga can lead to reduced fat and oxidative stress.
Lowering oxidative stress, will not only increase Vitamin C levels, but also Vitamins A & E.
60. Improves Lung Function
Yoga encourages deep, mindful breathing, which forces the lungs to expand and contract every time.
It has been found that yoga’s emphasis on breathing, along with the demand of the practice itself, can lead to improved lung function in patients with coronary artery disease.
While many studies have focused on yoga’s effect on lung function in patients with disease, the practice is beneficial for anyone who wants to improve their breathing capabilities.
61. Improves Digestion
Yoga is so effective in improving irritable bowel syndrome that it has even been suggested as a standalone treatment for the condition.
Irritable bowel syndrome can significantly improve quality of life in patient’s who are afflicted with the disease by increasing digestive system function and decreasing the various symptoms that go along with the condition.
62. Lowers Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands within our bodies. It is an important hormone for times of emergency, where we need to act and make quick decisions. But when cortisol is flowing through our systems for a long time, it causes all sorts of problems. Yoga has been reported as a potential way to reduce cortisol levels and in turn, reducing stress and depression symptoms.
63. Improves Health of Skin
Through Happy Face Yoga, a facial exercise regimen, patients have seen improvement in the health and youthful appearance of their skin.
While it remains to be seen whether or not we will ever find the Fountain of Youth that will allow us to fully reverse the effects of aging, yoga seems to be a pretty good substitute for the time being!
We’ve seen previously that yoga can help lower oxidative stress, also helping with less wrinkles.
64. Helps with Hangover Symptoms
After a night out and one too many drinks, you may wake up with a pounding headache and wonder why you ever decided to put so much alcohol in your body.
Luckily, yoga can help with symptoms of a hangover such as headaches.
While it is still a good idea to reach for the water bottle when you wake up with a hangover, you might also consider heading out the door and getting to a yoga class as well to help you recover.
65. Strengthens the Mind-Body Connection
Yoga has been found to improve the function and structure of many different areas of the brain.
With a practice that heavily emphasizes breathing, meditation, and movement, it’s hard to see how yoga wouldn’t help with almost every ailment in both the mind and the body.
Combining the practices of meditation and movement brings these two systems together and results in a healthier, happier practitioner.
66. Improves Breathing Efficiency
Compared with those who don’t regularly perform yoga, practitioners have been found to consume nearly 15% less oxygen throughout the day.
This allows them to be more efficient with their use of oxygen and would theoretically improve their chances of surviving in conditions where there was less oxygen available to them.
67. Allows for Greater Breathing Control
Many forms of yoga emphasize deep, controlled breaths as part of the practice.
These breathing techniques force practitioners to focus on what is usually an automatic process and encourages a connection between the nervous system and the pulmonary system.
This allows those who regularly perform yoga to translate these breathing skills to other aspects of life, providing a calming and healthy stimulus to the body at all times.
68. Provides a Non-Competitive way to Obtain the Benefits of Exercise
While many forms of exercise and various sports are focused on personal and peer competition, yoga’s major focus is on enabling practitioners to achieve a stress-free state while they exercise and become healthier, happier versions of themselves.
Yoga encourages everyone to attempt to relax as much as possible as they move through the various postures and stretches involved in the session, making it an excellent choice for people looking to avoid a stressful form of exercise.
69. Releases Muscle Tension
At one point or another, you’ve probably noticed your shoulders, neck, hands or some other part of your body aching when you’ve been in a long-term stressful situation.
This is a natural stress reaction when life events feel like they are out of our control.
Yoga forces us to relax these muscles and encourages our bodies to let go of this stress, allowing the tension to slowly recede. Not only does yoga decrease muscle tension, it also leads to increased happiness in participants.
70. Increases Pain Tolerance
Chronic pain is a devastating condition that affects many people for many different reasons.
For people with chronic pain, it can sometimes feel like there is nowhere for them to turn to find relief. Fortunately for these individuals, yoga has been found to be effective for many of the issues associated with chronic pain.
71. Encourages Better Posture
Posture is a huge focus of yoga practice. Many yoga teachers will provide gentle cues to students that encourage them to correct their posture while holding various poses.
With practice, yoga can help to permanently improve posture and reduce the effects of musculoskeletal pain and may even reduce injury risk.