11 Awesome Ways Yoga Improves Your Health

Who Knew Being Bendy Was Good for You?

When I used to think about yoga I would imagine a guy in some bed sheets with a long beard sitting at the top of a mountain in some weird contorted state.

While those people might actually exist, yoga isn’t restricted to just those types of people.

Yoga is for everybody!

There isn’t a single person, no matter the age or weight, that can’t benefit from yoga in some form.

Many people misunderstand yoga because they think it is simply for increasing your flexibility. While that is one of the great benefits of yoga there are so much more.

I want to share them with you.

11 Awesome Ways Yoga Improves Your Health

The benefits of yoga go far beyond making you nimble. Here are 11 ways that yoga improves the quality of your life.

yoga for health

1. Improves Your Flexibility

I might as well start off with the obvious one here.

When you first get started with yoga you will find that you can’t fully complete a lot of the beginner poses. You just aren’t flexible enough and trying to get into those positions will hurt.

It might feel like your tendons are ripping apart but you are merely stretching them to new limits. If you stick with it, you’ll start to nice a gradual loosening of your muscles and eventually you’ll start doing the impossible.

As you get more flexible you’ll start to notice that your old aches and pains disappear. Tight hips can strain your needs. Tight hamstrings can lead to back pain. Any type of inflexibility in your muscles and connective tissue can cause poor posture which then leads to a whole set of healthy issues.

If the only thing you get out of yoga is improved flexibility then you are in a good state.

2. Builds Muscle Strength

When I first started to do yoga this one wasn’t apparent to me. I associate muscle-building with bodyweight exercises or hitting the gym.

Yoga helps you to build muscles, but not get bulky because you end up holding yourself in certain positions that requires a lot of strength. As your muscle strength increases, you might find that your arthritis and back pain begins to disappear.

3. Perfects Your Posture

Think about a skeleton and how every bone seems to be connected. The less work certain bones have to do then the better your body will feel.

Your head is pretty heavy. I’m not trying to insult you. I have a massive head so my head might be the heaviest one you’ve ever seen.

Because your head is big, round, and heavy it needs to be balanced correctly. When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it means that the neck and back muscles have to do much less work.

Moving it a couple of inches in any direction means that those muscles start to strain.

If you’re someone that likes to slump then you might be surprised to know that when you do this your body compensates by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can lead to some pain and degenerative arthritis.

If you suffer from back pain then you shouldn’t be surprised to know that yoga is great for sciatica.

4. Prevents Cartilage and Joint Breakdown

Yoga ensures that you are putting your joints through a workout. Yoga makes your joints go through a full range of motion which helps to prevent degenerative arthritis.

For this to make sense think of your joint cartilage as a sponge that requires fresh nutrients. The only way it can receive fresh nutrients is if the old fluids are flushed out. This occurs when the joints are squeezed then a new supply of nutrients can be soaked up.

Without this constant refreshment of new nutrients areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone.

yoga for beginners

5. Protects Your Spine

Spinal disks love to be moved. As you just learned this is the only way they can get nutrients.

Being consistent with yoga practice ensures that you’ll keep your disks supple.

6. Increases Your Blood Flow

It’s important that you circulate as much blood throughout your body as possible because blood contains oxygen. Your cells operate much better when they get more oxygen and this why yoga is important.

Twisting poses, for example, wring out venous blood from your internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released.

Inverted poses encourage blood to flow back into the heart where it can be pumped into the lungs for more oxygen.

Yoga is also known to boost levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.

It also helps to thin the blood which leads to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes.

If you want to get the benefits of increased blood flow then check out these 16 yoga poses to increase flexibility.

7. Lowers Blood Sugar

Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways:

  • lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels
  • encouraging weight loss
  • improving insulin sensitivity

Getting your blood sugar levels down decreases your risk of diabetic complications.

8. Helps You Focus

Yoga makes you focus on the present.

Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, and memory.

9. Relaxes Your System

One of the main causes of unwanted weight gain is stress.

Yoga encourages you to relax by slowing your breath and focusing on the present.

Here is a great 10-minute yoga workout for stress.

10. Helps You Sleep

Yoga is great for helping you get better sleep by relaxing the mind and providing meditation to relax the nervous system.

Getting more sleep is a pre-requisite for losing weight.

You can even do yoga in bed! There really are no excuses to not practice some yoga before going to bed to help you get a better night’s sleep. You can also lose weight while sleeping.

11. Prevents IBS and Other Digestive Problems

Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation are all made worse by stress.

The less you stress, the less you will suffer from these things.

Yoga is also a great way to improve digestion. You don’t want to keep the bad things in your system for too long and yoga can help to ensure that your body is doing the work necessary to get rid of toxins.

Here are 10 yoga poses to beat belly bloat and improve digestion.

yoga for flexibility

Yoga Is Great for Everyone

Yoga has so many benefits for your body that it makes sense for everybody to practice it. You don’t have to turn yourself into a professional yogi, but getting more flexible, building muscle strength, and increasing blood flow throughout your body is going to help you live a better life.

More Great Content on Thrive/Strive

Common Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet: 140+ Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

“Is this keto-friendly?” “Can I eat this on keto?” Learn which foods to avoid on the keto diet to avoid slowing down your fat loss.

Low-Carb Foods To Avoid On The Keto Diet

Not all low-carb foods are created equal! In fact, some can even mess up your keto diet. This post explains which low-carb foods to avoid on the keto diet.

Kundalini Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide

Kundalini Yoga is a well-rounded practice that can greatly benefit your day-to-day life. This beginner's guide gives you the basics you need to get started.

Keratosis Pilaris: Causes and Treatment

Keratosis pilaris is a very common, harmless condition where small bumps appear on your skin. It is annoying, but there are things that may improve it.

How Do You Know If You Have Food Poisoning? Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Learn what symptoms to look out for, and how to treat food poisoning.

7 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

You can lower your blood pressure without medication. Try these simple lifestyle changes to naturally lower your blood pressure.

Hatha Yoga for Beginners: 5 Basic Poses

Hatha yoga describes a kind of yoga where asanas are practiced. This post on Hatha yoga for beginners is a great introduction to the practice of yoga.

Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, And How To Treat It

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe symptoms depending on the cause, your age, and your health. Learn the symptoms of pneumonia and how to treat (and avoid) it.

Meditation for Beginners: A Simple Guide To Get Started Today

Meditation can help you to become more peaceful, more focused, and less worried. If you're new to meditation - check out this post on meditation for beginners.

Breaking Sugar Addiction – How To Do It Safely

Hooked on sugar and don't know how to break free? Quitting sugar is hard - but it can be done. This post helps you with breaking the sugar addiction.

Help! I Have Green Poop!

Seeing green poop can be quite alarming. But don't fear - there is often a very normal reason for your stool turning green.

3 Best Essential Oils For Weight Loss (And How To Use Them)

Essential oils are not a miracle cure, but they do have health benefits. This post explains how to use essentials oils for weight loss.

A Simple Guide to Exercising While on the Keto Diet

Are you doing keto and also want to exercise?

Keto Alcohol Recipes: 7 Drinks Safe for the Ketogenic Diet

If you're looking to drink on a ketogenic diet, look no further. Here are 7 keto alcohol recipes that are going to keep you in ketosis while you're out having fun.

9 Common Keto Mistakes to Avoid

We are never perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, especially starting a new diet like the ketogenic diet. Here are 9 common keto mistakes and how you can avoid them.

11 Keto Fat Bomb Recipes You Need Right Now

Reaching your daily macros on a ketogenic diet can sometimes be hard. Here are 11 keto fat bombs that will help you reach them.

13 Keto Crockpot Recipes You Need In Your Life Now

If you aren't convinced about the ketogenic diet yet, here are 13 keto crockpot recipes that you need to try right now.

Keto Desserts: 13 Simple No Bake Ketogenic Diet Desserts

Looking for some delicious keto desserts? These 13 keto desserts will keep you in ketosis and losing weight.

17 Keto Recipes That’ll Make You Forget You’re On a Diet

I'm always looking for more delicious keto recipes and these are 17 new ones that I'll have to try and make. I love the ketogenic diet! #Keto #KetoRecipes #KetogenicDiet

7 Benefits of a Keto Diet That You’ll Want in Your Life

Thinking about trying the ketogenic diet? You might be wondering what the benefits of keto are. This post goes over the many benefits of keto.