10 reasons to practice yoga
The relationship between the mind and the body is a complicated interaction between thoughts and emotions, the body and the outside world. The integration of scientific medicine, psychology, nutrition, exercise physiology and the self-healing capacities of body and mind are not only part of many old cultures, but also a rapidly growing object of scientific studies.
We love yoga and think people should practice it just for the love of it as well… but we realise that the cynics amongst us might need some extra incentive, found in science.
So here are 10 great reasons to practice yoga, and some scientific evidence to back it up – and more and more work is being done!
- yoga diminishes the physical effects of stress: it can elicit the ‘Relaxation Response‘, lower levels of stress-hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and slow down your heart rate;
- yoga helps to improve your mood and relieve depression;
- yoga can help you relieve and manage pain (different studies show promising results of using yoga in the management and improvement of lower back pain, osteoarthritis in the hands and the knees, joint pain in cancer survivors, general improvement of rheumatoid arthritis, );
- yoga improves your balance and reduces fear of falling;
- yoga improves your posture – and good posture is shown to have positive effects on your confidence, self-image and mental well-being;
- yoga improves 4 of the major components of physical fitness: strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination;
- the breathing techniques you learn in yoga improve your respiratory and cardio-vascular function;
- practicing yoga sometimes is good, but more often is better: there’s a correlation between practicing often and general health and well-being.
- physical well-being through exercise has proven to drastically improve work floor productivity and lessen the costs of health care.
- And, it’s fun! No scientific backing for that, just experiential evidence…
So: get away from your desk and start!
P.S Here’s an article about the physiological, psychological and biochemical benefits of yoga that sums it all up…