4 MIN READ | Positive Psychology

Robert Haynes

7 Scientific Benefits of Doing Yoga

Cite This
Robert Haynes, (2022, March 5). 7 Scientific Benefits of Doing Yoga. Psychreg on Positive Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/scientific-benefits-doing-yoga/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Suffice it to say; there is an unstoppable chaos in the world right now. Be it your personal life, social, or professional life – you are bound to face the challenges that knock you off your feet.

We all crave some moments of peace in such havoc. Fortunately, there are effective methods like yoga to blow off the steam. Mounting evidence provides that yoga brings loads of benefits for human health. This is why The Good Body, Yoga Alliance discovered that 36 million Americans practice yoga.

And Everbrite adds to our knowledge by stating that 87% of people feel better after yoga. We must examine the science-backed benefits of doing yoga to convince ourselves. 

Yoga improves flexibility

Yoga lets you stretch your muscles and expand your motion range. When Yoga Alliance conducted a worldwide survey in 2016, they found most people preferred yoga because it increases their flexibility.

You can choose from a whole lot of yoga techniques. They vary in intensity, and even the low-intensity techniques can improve your flexibility. It is natural for aging adults to experience decreasing flexibility. They can maintain their flexibility levels by practicing yoga regularly.

Yoga stimulates brain function

A few minutes of yoga leave you feeling fresh and mentally strong.

A 2012 research found that a single yoga session can improve the accuracy and speed of a person’s working memory. Both movement-based yoga therapy and breathing-based practice can significantly uplift the depression of people.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most common mental disorder worldwide. Besides this, some people may have post-traumatic stress disorder or work-related stress, developing a yoga routine helps to improve these conditions.

Adults who regularly practice yoga experience more mental flexibility, information recall, and task switching than those who don’t.

It prevents heart diseases

Pranayama, known as ‘yoga breathing’ is a beneficial aspect of yoga. The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine published a study and found that yogic breathing can improve several bodily functions.

The research pointed out that cardiovascular functions can significantly benefit from controlled breathing exercise. Moreover, yoga decreases the changes in blood vessels that contribute to heart issues.

A research paper published in the journal Experimental Physiology shows that Bikram yoga in a heated room can enhance vascular health. 

Combining yoga with aerobic exercises is another way to improve your heart functions. Both can work to reduce your cholesterol levels and BMI. 

Yoga can boost your immunity

Stress tends to impact our immunity. It affects our eating habits and our general way of looking after ourselves.

On the flipside, yoga comes with loads of perks for your immunity. For starters, you become a mindful eater when you join a reputable yoga center in your town, such as a center for yoga in Langley.

According to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, yoga motivates you to practice mindful eating.

This mindfulness persists across the day, not only during the classes. Researchers have developed a questionnaire to measure mindful eating practices among yogis. These questions are as follows:

  • Eating as a response to environmental cues, like the smell of food
  • Being aware of how the food looks
  • Eating when sad or stressed
  • Eating despite being full
  • Eating when distracted by other things

The research on this domain is still in the pipeline. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that yoga boosts immunity as the person’s eating habits improve.

Yoga helps to improve sleep

As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 55% of yoga practitioners experience improved sleep, and more than 85% report enhanced stress levels.

Over time, yoga has been shown to benefit kids and adults to sleep better. This is necessary because kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have sleep troubles. Yoga as a behavior intervention can reduce stress for kids with ASD.

The effects of yoga on sleep are because of exercise and mental calming. As most people nowadays suffer insomnia and sleep disorders, it is essential to integrate yoga into your routine.

You will find an incredible impact on your overall sleep patterns. It will also make you fresh and ready to face the day’s challenges head-on.

It builds a better body image

Yoga refines inner awareness. It allows you to focus on the body’s abilities and vital areas.

Consistent yoga nurtures strength of mind and body, enabling individuals to work on their physical appearance. 

Yoga studios don’t have mirrors because they want people to focus their awareness instead of worrying about how they look. Surveys have discovered that people who practice yoga are more aware of their bodies than those who don’t.

People who infuse yoga in their routines are less critical of their bodies. This is why yoga has become an indispensable part of programs promoting positive body image and self-esteem.

Yoga decreases lower back pain

Lower back pain affects more than 50% of adults worldwide. This can disrupt their ability to exercise, sleep, and perform daily tasks. 

Yoga intervention can bring great rewards for such individuals. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that a 12-week yoga program improved the score of pain intensity and disability. It also reduced the use of opioids among military personnel.

The study was performed on military personnel because they are more susceptible to chronic back pain than the general population.

The positive outcomes of this study were an indication that yoga could help all people who suffer from lower back problems.

Takeaway

Next time your friend calls you to a yoga center in the vicinity, you should go check it out.

The feelings post-yoga are exhilarating. So much so that some people call it their addiction.

There are many styles of yoga to choose from. We suggest that you initiate from the beginners’ methods and slowly move towards more intense techniques. An instant leap into a vigorous yoga routine will leave you tired and frustrated for days.

And as we sign off, we request you to share your feelings with us after your first yoga session.


Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.


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