Yoga has been around for centuries, with records dating back as early as 400 CE. However, the modern yoga class didn’t find its place in the West until the early 20th century, becoming increasingly popular since the 1980’s, especially in metropolitan cities like New York and Los Angeles. Now we have hot yoga, power yoga, yoga flow, kundalini, prenatal, restorative and the list goes on in terms of styles to choose from.
But, as popular as yoga has become in terms of the physical exercise and body benefits it provides, we often don’t realize some of the additional health benefits afforded us through our practice. Sure, ask any yogini and they’ll tell you how yoga is great for strength, posture, flexibility, stress reduction, and balance, but there are several other conditions that it supports that you may not have heard about.
Here are just some of the ones we stumbled upon:
Okay, this is probably one of the more obvious conditions yoga can alleviate. Practicing yoga makes your body more flexible, which results in less pressure on your joints. Yoga is especially useful to people who have rheumatoid arthritis and can also help in reducing stress, which has been shown to worsen conditions for arthritis sufferers.
Yoga is a great exercise for your lungs, incorporating breathing techniques and exercises which can potentially help alleviate your asthma symptoms.
Yes, practicing yoga can actually benefit those that have cancer for a myriad of reasons. Its used as a cancer treatment for patients who are suffering from depression, pain, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety control, and can generally improve their quality of life overall.
Yes, part of being a Zen Woman is balancing in some party time once in a while. That being said, after a night of drinking your organic Merlot or other liberating libation, there is a high probability you may experience a hangover the next day. Knowing this, yoga is a great way to move through it faster by improving your metabolism through the increase of blood flow to your brain, which helps get rid of a it all together, or at the very least, decrease its intensity. Just take it easy and avoid styles such as power yoga or hot yoga given your body will already be pretty dehydrated.
Yoga can be beneficial to those who have high blood pressure, and improves symptoms of heart failure, easing palpitations and lowering cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and stress hormones.
Previously mentioned above, yoga can help with insomnia based on research conducted by Harvard University. Specifically, the visualization and breathing exercises combined in yoga practice allows your mind to slow down, creating an ideal situation for sleep.
Lower Back Pain
Studies have shown that for people with chronic low back pain, practicing yoga has proven to be 30% more beneficial than getting mainstream medical treatments.
Research also shows that practicing yoga can help ease the pain of migraines. Since migraines can be caused by poor posture of your neck and shoulders, yoga helps to correct this, improving energy flow throughout the system and is a great tool for prevention overall.
These are just some of the many benefits to our health and well-being that yoga continues to facilitate through whatever form you choose to practice. What is beautiful about it overall is how balanced it is, which as you know, we’re all about.