6 Yoga Benefits You Might be Missing Out On

Puppy Yoga.jpg

It’s time for me to return to Yoga.

I’ve strayed from my yoga practice over the winter, and I’m ready to recommit. Are you new to yoga? Have you been away for awhile? Let’s look at 6 benefits you can gain from yoga that might surprise you.

1. A Good Night’s Sleep.  Yes, we know that yoga is relaxing.  But did you know that the relaxation can extend all the way to a good night’s sleep?  Researchers have proven that there are sleep benefits to practicing yoga.  Maybe trying an evening yoga class to enjoy these sleep benefits would be good for you!

2.  Injury Protection.  I don’t know about you, but I am not naturally limber.  I have to work hard to maintain any level of flexibility.  Which is why yoga can keep me (and you) safer from injury.  When you’re staying limber, you’re less likely to step wrong, or bend over incorrestly, or make an awkward fall. And the core strength you gain from yoga can help you right yourself if a stumble happens.

Yoga Mats.jpg

3. Heart Health.  I’m definitely a proponent of cardio exercise for overall health, but yoga is also heart healthy.  The inner work of yoga can lower your blood pressure and your blood sugars.  If you’ve done yoga before, just thinking about it seems like it drops your blood pressure. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to jump up and down or exhaust yourself to gain heart-friendly benefits!

4. Body Awareness.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “I don’t need to be any more aware of my body!”  But this type of awareness is different.  We’re talking about being aware of places where you’re strong and limber, and knowing just what your abilities are.  People who practice yoga are also more satisfied with their body and its abilities.  And who doesn’t want to be a little more at peace with their bodies?

5. Anxiety & Depression. Lori, my favorite yogi, used to say that a good class left you with “yoga head”—that glorious, floaty feeling of peace and well-being. If you’ve practiced yoga, you’ve no doubt felt it.  Beyond “yoga head” though,  yoga has demonstrated benefits in relieving anxiety and depression.  Regular yoga practice, particularly in conjunction with other mindfulness work, can lead to long-lasting reductions in anxiety and depression.  (Please talk to your health care professional before altering any treatment, friends.  Be safe.)

Dude doing yoga.jpg

6.  Healthy Weight.  It flies in the face of what we think we know about calories, and sweat, and weight, but gentle yoga really can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  Here’s how they think it works:  1, When you do gentle yoga, you feel better about yourself all over. 2. When you feel better about yourself, you chill out about all sorts of things. 3. Chilling out means that you don’t worry about every darn bite that goes in your mouth. 4. You lose weight.  I’m willing to try it, how about you?

BONUS: because you feel better about yourself, you’re happier, regardless of what the stupid scale says!

Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach. She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart. Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com

Why I LOVE my Farmer’s Market: An Ode

Perspectives on Burnout