Yoga is an effective way to increase flexibility and relieve stress. Read more to learn how yoga can help you improve balance, coordination, and more.
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Yoga for Flexibility & Stress Relief
Remaining flexible as we age is an important component of overall good physical health. Throughout the aging process, people may become inflexible due to a variety of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, stress, or other poor movement habits.
One way to help combat these flexibility concerns is by regularly practicing yoga. Not only is practicing yoga a great way to maintain great flexibility, but it's also an effective way to help manage stress. Yoga is easy to practice at home, or in a class or studio setting.
Thinking of trying yoga? Consider these 5 benefits to help you improve your flexibility and reduce stress.
5 Benefits of Yoga for Flexibility & Stress Relief
1. Improves Balance and Coordination
Did you know that maintaining good balance and coordination skills can help you prevent injuries? That's right! Practicing yoga is one way to help you enhance your balance and coordination skills. Yoga has been shown to improve your proprioception or the sense of where your body is in space. Furthermore, yoga helps to stabilize and strengthen your core muscles, improve posture, and increases your bodily awareness.
One of the most common yoga poses, known as the tree pose, helps promote balance in one standing leg. This pose is called the tree pose as it teaches you to "reach tall" such as the branches of a tree.
2. Increases Strength and Endurance
There are hundreds of different yoga poses that work to stretch and flex your muscles in different ways. Practicing a variety of yoga poses can help reduce the stiffness of muscles and promote good flexibility. One study showed promising results and improved flexibility after just 10 weeks of practicing yoga.
In addition to enhanced flexibility, specific types of yoga can also help increase strength and endurance. Active, dynamic styles of yoga can help strengthen your body. Many yoga poses help build isometric strength by requiring you to hold a position or use one's body weight against an unmovable force. Over time, practicing these poses can help you improve muscle tone and enhance strength.
3. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Not only does practicing yoga offer many physical benefits, but it's also a great form of self-care to support positive mental health. Many people find that practicing yoga helps them reduce and relieve stress. Stress can manifest in our lives and wreak havoc in many ways, sometimes even presenting as physical symptoms like trouble sleeping or back pain.
Yoga also involves breathwork, which involves exercises designed to intentionally change your breathing pattern. Breathwork exercises involved in yoga help to promote relaxation and calmness, helping to reduce stress. Many individuals who suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression find yoga to help relieve their symptoms. Practicing yoga also helps to improve mental clarity and focus, which can help sharpen concentration throughout the day.
4. Promotes Relaxation
Yoga often encompasses controlling breathing exercises or meditation practices alongside yoga poses. Controlling your breathing during yoga can help you relax your body and mind, helping to promote an overall relaxed state. Using mindfulness or meditation exercises while practicing yoga helps you shift focus to the present moment and helps relax your body.
If you struggle with racing or overactive thoughts, yoga can help you to slow down your thoughts. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling during your yoga breathwork is one of the most basic meditation techniques designed to promote relaxation. Even just a few minutes of practicing yoga per day can make a huge difference in promoting a more relaxed mind and body!
5. Improves Sleep Quality
According to the Sleep Foundation, there are a variety of ways in which yoga can help enhance a person's sleep quality. As mentioned previously, yoga promotes mindfulness practices that involve judgment-free awareness. These mindfulness practices may help increase melatonin levels, thereby promoting better sleep. One study published in JAMA International Medicine found that adults who practice yoga experienced fewer nighttime sleep disturbances than those who did not practice yoga.
Yoga can also improve sleep quality through movement. Performing any type of light to moderate exercise regularly can help improve sleep. In addition, the deep breathing techniques used in yoga can help prepare the body for rest when performed before sleep.
Give Yoga A Try Today
Ready to give yoga a try? Practicing yoga offers so many benefits for both your physical and mental health. Those suffering from sleeping difficulties, anxiety, or depression can benefit greatly from incorporating yoga into their daily or weekly routines.
Physically, yoga can help improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. Practicing yoga can help support good mental health by reducing stress and anxiety levels too. With so many different forms of yoga to try, you're guaranteed to find one you love with a bit of trial and error!
Not sure how to get started with beginner yoga? Check out these 5 easy yoga poses to do every day at home.