What's the benefit of yoga?

Find more COVID-19 testing centers in Maryland, gov. Gentle yoga has been shown to alleviate some of the discomfort of tender, swollen joints in people with arthritis, according to a Johns Hopkins review of 11 recent studies. Focus your attention on your body's capabilities in the present moment. It helps to develop breathing and the strength of the mind and body.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, yoga is an ancient practice based on the Indian philosophy of promoting physical and mental health that began more than 4,000 years ago. If you're not quite sure where to start, taking classes to familiarize yourself with the different types of practices can be a great option. And while most in-person options aren't available right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find plenty of tutorials and yoga classes online. With better breathing and relaxation, yoga can help you sleep more quality time at night.

According to a meta-analysis of 19 previously published studies on women with sleep problems, the practice of yoga was associated with higher scores on measures of sleep quality. And the more time was spent on yoga, the stronger the benefits were. In fact, a study of 48 office employees published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, & Health found that, after six weeks of yoga, workers reported feeling less stress in the workplace. They also reported that they felt less anxious, confused, depressed, tired, and insecure than their co-workers who didn't participate in yoga.

And a small independent study published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that those who participated in yoga three times a week for 12 weeks reported a greater decrease in anxiety than those who walked for the same amount of time. Researchers theorize that the combination of concentrated breathing postures and yoga may stimulate the vagus nerve, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce anxiety. Plus, it doesn't matter what the culture of Instagram tells us: rooted in India's spiritual practices, yoga is less about standing up and much more about building mental and physical strength and consolidating healthy habits for life. So, keep reading to see 14 benefits of yoga, as well as answers to your most frequently asked questions (such as “is yoga good for you?”).

From research laboratories and from the mouth of experts, here are 14 science-backed reasons to do more yoga.

The benefits of yoga

go far beyond being able to tell people that you do yoga regularly (although it's good). With the increase in cases of anxiety and depression, one of the main benefits of yoga is its ability to combat both. Depending on the style of yoga you practice, the benefit for muscle development is mainly due to isometric holds.

However, the combination of gentle movement and focused breathing may have some mental health benefits, meaning that yoga can influence how you feel if you experience those conditions. What makes yoga particularly unique is that it combines the conscious benefits of meditation with physical postures, also known as asanas. But even less vigorous yoga styles, such as Iyengar or Hatha, can provide strength and endurance benefits. Yoga is now included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs because of its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits.

With more active asana practices, such as vinyasa or ashtanga, you can experience the benefits of strengthening even faster. Numerous studies show the benefits of yoga in arthritis, osteopenia, balance problems, oncology, women's health, chronic pain and other specialties. Long-term flexibility is a well-known benefit of yoga, but one that remains especially relevant to spinal health. While yoga isn't exactly known for building strength in the same way as weightlifting, adopting poses will essentially give you the same benefits of exercising with your body weight.

A slower heart rate may benefit people with high blood pressure or heart disease, and people who have had a stroke. In fact, yoga during pregnancy has a number of benefits, from strengthening the pelvic floor (very important) to helping you learn relaxing breathing sequences. Courtney suggests following a box-breathing technique to increase those benefits while stretching afterwards. .