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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 15, 2019
Headline for Top 10 Benefits of Doing Yoga - A Way of Life
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 Benefits of Doing Yoga - A Way of Life

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Let's look at ten of the top benefits.

1

Increased strength and flexibility

Yoga has the powerful ability to build body strength and agility simultaneously. People from every walk of life can benefit from its therapeutic effects, including athletes, those recovering from certain surgeries, and the elderly.

2

Maintain balanced body weight

Yoga is not about high-intensity workout sessions or calorie burning goals. Instead, it's a quiet and steady method of destressing which in turn lowers levels of cortisol to maintain hormonal balance in the body. It is accepted that stress contributes to weight gain.

3

Combats pain

Yoga has been proved to be effective at relieving pain particularly with migraine headaches, arthritis fibromyalgia and back pain. Certain postures can greatly help stretch the spine and strengthen and realign the back muscles. Because pain is the result of chronic stress, the relaxing mindfulness of yoga is the ideal antidote.

4

Boosts memory and mental capacity

It's hard to believe that you can boost cognitive function as well through yoga, and meditation in particular. Memory capacity and concentration can be boosted through specific yoga pose like inversions, which increase blood flow to the brain.

5

Breathe!

The use of 'prana' (chi) or breath control in yoga and meditation leads to stronger lungs with increased breath capacity and control. The physical and mental stresses of life can take a toll on the body and cause blockages, restricting the flow of life energy. With yoga, you can restore balance to your body and through controlled breathing, add years to your life.

6

Do it anywhere, any time!

Perhaps one of the most appealing features of yoga is that it requires no equipment, fancy accessories, memberships or any other encumbrances. Any place, any time, is the motto as it can be enjoyed indoors or out. In addition, one doesn't have to be super fit or flexible to start off, though one can aspire to that state. Even when you're on vacation, staying in a Phuket luxury resort perhaps, yoga goes along with you. For those who enjoy the discipline and focus of group yoga, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, for instance, offers a range of sessions either on the beach or in their studio.

7

Balancing the nervous systems

Yoga helps equalise the functions of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems which are responsible for balancing stress levels. In particular, yoga fortifies the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which is what triggers relaxation.

8

A state of mental wellbeing

When it comes to mental health yoga has the ability to reduce depression and anxiety, help with ADHD, sleep complaints, schizophrenia and eating disorders, while restoring a sense of connectedness and improved motivation.

9

Enhanced quality of life

Studies have shown that yoga can significantly improve one's quality of life, especially for elders. Other studies have demonstrated how yoga can help cancer patients, by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting, lessening pain and fatigue and generally bringing about a state of relaxation.

10

Better sleep quality

The good news for many who suffer from poor sleep quality is that yoga seems to contribute to better sleep. It increases the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that controls the states of sleep and wakefulness.