1. Reduces stress and cortisol levels
Yoga’s emphasis on focusing on the present moment, relaxing your body and mind, and breathing deeply shifts the balance of your nervous system from the sympathetic mode (fight-or-flight response) to parasympathetic mode. Sometimes called the “rest and digest system,” the parasympathetic nervous system slows your breathing and heart rate, reduces stress, quiets your mind, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow. It’s the equivalent of your body taking a long, deep sigh of relief.
By increasing the frequency, time, and depth of the parasympathetic mode through yoga, you not only promote healing and reduce your stress levels, but you also practice preventive medicine by allowing your body to effectively and efficiently perform all of its essential tasks.
2. Strengthens the immune system
Have you noticed that the more downward dogs and sun salutations you do, the less colds you catch? It’s likely not a coincidence! The twisting, stretching, compressing, and inverting that occurs when practicing yoga enhances blood and lymphatic fluid circulation. This increase in circulation not only improves your body’s ability to deliver the materials needed for healing, but also encourages a robust immune system.
3. Improves emotional well-being and resilience
Yoga is an antidote to an overactive mind. By encouraging you to bring your attention to the present moment, your breath, and your body, yoga helps soothe your busy mind and teaches you how to slow down and detach from the incessant loop of frustration, fear, anger, worry, and planning. Naturally, this leads to more feelings of peace, calm, and joy and less feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
4. Improves flexibility, strength, balance, and posture
The longer you practice yoga, the more you’ll notice you’re able to achieve poses that seemed impossible before. This is because consistently practicing yoga gradually increases flexibility, strength, posture, and balance—all of which are very important for the healing and prevention of back pain and musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
5. Cultivates inner awareness
Yoga is a form of active meditation that encourages you to block out the external world’s noise and shift your focus inward. Bringing your attention to your inner world cultivates a deeper awareness of what is going on inside you—physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically. Through this awareness, you can work to support what’s working and change what’s not.
The bottom line
Yoga offers strong support to your body’s healing mechanisms. It’s an effective, safe, gentle way to support the health, healing, and well-being of your whole self. It’s important, however, to view yoga as a complementary therapy to be practiced alongside other interventions and therapies. Regardless of your level of yoga expertise, if you’re practicing regularly, you can seriously boost your well-being from head to toe.
I know that being alone on a fitness journey is no fun, which is why I created the free ST Fitness community! Inside our free group, I share helpful tips and inspiration and provide my ladies with weekly suggested meal plans! Can’t wait for you to jump inside with us!
MEET THE BLOGGER
I specialize in helping brides feel confident in themselves by offering premium wedding fitness and nutrition coaching programs so they can eliminate self-doubt and insecurity.
Achieve your body goals with one or all of these free bride training and wedding fitness resources