Yoga is an ancient practice that has become increasingly popular in the western world thanks to yoga studios, virtual classes, and gym memberships. Yoga has roots in meditation and spirituality and is a great tool for those looking to improve their health and wellness. Practicing yoga can come with a host of health benefits, from improved posture to better mental clarity. Read on to learn more details regarding health benefits of yoga, and how you can utilize the Great Yoga Wall at the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center.
Health Benefits of Yoga
1. Posture. Your mother was right! Poor posture can cause unnecessary strain on your back and neck, leading to muscle and joint pain and problems. Bad posture for a prolonged period of time can even lead to degenerative arthritis! Yoga helps improve your posture by balancing your head directly over your spine, keeping it in line and relieving pressure on your neck and back.
2. Anxiety and Stress. In our busy lives, it’s important to find activities that help us relax and relieve stress. Yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation through decreasing the release of cortisol, the primary stress hormone in your body. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, incorporating yoga into your daily routine can be a great way to wind down and relax.
3. Cardiovascular Health. High blood pressure is extremely common and is one of the leading causes of heart problems (such as heart attacks and strokes). Yoga has been shown to reduce blood pressure and even lower cholesterol and insulin resistance. To protect your heart health and increase longevity, try adding in some yoga sessions a few times per week.
4. Better Sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is essential for overall health. Though it seems simple enough, many people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Studies have shown that incorporating yoga into your day can help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and improve sleep quality. This may be due to yoga’s ability to increase secretion of melatonin, an important sleep hormone. So, why not try a short yoga session before bed to help improve sleep quality? Check out this post for more ways to improve your sleep hygiene.
5. Reduced Inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Some studies suggest that regular yoga practice can reduce inflammatory markers in the body, helping to prevent common diseases or inflammation.
6. Balance and Flexibility. Yoga poses like “tree pose” can help improve your sense of balance, while poses such as “pigeon pose” can increase flexibility. Balance is especially important as we age, preventing falls that can lead to broken bones. Flexibility reduces tight muscles and joints, which can result in decreased aches and pains. Sticking with yoga regularly will result in great improvements in both balance and flexibility.
7. Bone Health. Weight-bearing exercises, like yoga, help to strengthen bones. Strong bones are essential as we age for preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis, diseases that are characterized by weak and fragile bones. Poses such as Downward-Facing Dog are great for improving strength in the bones of the arms, which are especially prone to fractures in the elderly. You can also improve bone health with diet, so read this post about how to eat for bone health.
Our Yoga Wall
At the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center, we are proud to offer The Great Yoga Wall, an important tool for advancing your yoga practice and correcting imbalances. Utilizing our Yoga Wall can help you experience the benefits of a pose without strain, as it uses gravity as a form of resistance. The Yoga Wall is excellent for spinal health, with a strap and harness system to decompress the vertebral column. Our Wall is perfect for beginners hoping to learn more about postural alignment and build strength, or for experienced yogis to fine tune their advanced poses (like backbends). Come check out the Yoga Wall and our other health and wellness services at the Integrative Health Center and Spa.
Yoga is an incredibly diverse and integrative practice that can provide these wonderful health benefits and even more. If you are seeking holistic solutions to your anxiety, sleep issues, inflammation, or other conditions, incorporating yoga into your wellness routine is a great step towards health and relief from symptoms.
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