September is the official National Yoga Month (a national observance designated by the Department of Health & Human Services) designed to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle. There is so much to the practice of yoga, and if you don't know anything about it, challenge yourself this month to learn ways in which yoga can benefit you. Yoga is not only a great way to work on your flexibility and strength but it's also great for relaxation. Some types of yoga involve more movement than others. Some focus more on poses (or asanas) while others focus more on breathing. Yoga does more than just help you twist your body into a pretzel and find your inner peace. The following are some of the many benefits of yoga.
Yoga helps boost immunity first and foremost because it helps to increase your overall health. As you breathe better, move better and circulate better, your organs are going to function better. Also, a study found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boosts immunity at a cellular level.
According to the Huffington Post, research shows that migraine sufferers have fewer and less painful migraines after just 3 months of yoga practice. The cause of migraines isn't fully understood, but it could be a combination of mental stressors and physical misalignment both of which yoga can help.
Insomniacs fell asleep 15 minutes faster and slept an hour longer each night after two months of doing a 45-minute series of yoga poses daily before bed. Breathing and mental exercises allow the mind to slow down, allowing you to fall asleep quicker and catch better Zzzs.
As you strengthen your body and become more flexible through yoga, your posture improves. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength as you need your core muscles to support and maintain each pose. Yoga also helps your body awareness. That helps you notice more quickly if you're slouching or slumping, so you can adjust your posture.
Good for your Heart
Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. Yoga has also been linked to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and better immune system function.
Sunnier Outlook on Life
The "happy yogi" is no coincidence. Doing one hour of poses, whether standing, sitting or balancing, helps yogis raise their levels of GABA chemical in their brain. Low levels of GABA has been linked to depression. The meditation aspect of yoga also allows you to feel less stress and more calm. Focusing on your breathing during practice can do that, too.
Whatever yoga style interests you most, it is certain your health and happiness will go up with every downward dog!
Are you in Louisville? Come try yoga at Milestone!
We have a full schedule that offers various styles of yoga.
Check out our class schedule here
Once you're on our group exercise schedule, click on YOGA on the left under Find Your Ideal Class and search Find Classes and you will see all yoga classes offered on the specified day of the week.Sources: http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga; http://www.self.com/body/fitness/2012/03/benefits-of-yoga-slideshow/6; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/12/yoga-health-benefits_n_4768746.html