If you’ve thought about taking up yoga, there’s no better time than now to roll out the mat and strike a few poses.
If you still need a little more convincing, here are 6 really good reasons to give yoga a try:
- You’ll feel less stressed, depressed and anxious. Yoga has been shown to increase GABA (a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s linked with mood-balancing and reducing stress) more than any other type of physical activity. Yoga promotes the relaxation response, thereby stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system) and calming the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response that is activated when you experience stress, fear, anxiety or nervousness.
- You’ll get an immunity boost. As you relax your mind and decrease your stress response, you’ll build resilience both inside and out. Several yoga poses support, balance and strengthen the immune system, increasing your ability to fight off germs, viruses and infections.
- You’ll build strength. It takes work to hold your body weight in a variety of balanced postures and poses – so as you stretch, you’ll also strengthen and tone the muscles of your arms, back, legs and core.
- You’ll improve cognitive function. When you do yoga, your brain cells develop new connections that change your brain’s structure and function. Yoga also promotes neuroprotective effects and increases gray matter in the brain; resulting in improved cognitive skills, memory, attention, awareness, thought and language.
- You’ll be more limber. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and tissues and strengthen them where they cross and support joints (which can easily become stiff and less mobile over time); this not only helps to prevent injury, but it also increases flexibility and range of motion, thereby improving joint mobility.
- You’ll become more mindful. When you do yoga, you’re focused on your breath, how the body feels in the asanas or poses, and the here and now. This gives you little mind space to think about the day’s events. Yoga aims to quiet the mind, in order to cultivate a deeper connection to the moment and to understanding yourself.
And here’s a bonus reason: not only is yoga good for you – body, mind and spirit – but with so many online classes available – it’s also easier (and more cost-effective) than ever to practice right from the comfort of your own home.
So, if you’re ready to roll out the mat, check out my quick 10-minute EMBRACE THE DAY flow (suitable for all levels) to help get you started.
Then be sure to let me know what you think down in the comments below.