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Today in Health & Wellness

Bend it Like a Yogi!

"Benefits of yoga"
By: Vanessa ValenzuelaBend it Like a Yogi!

Yoga is a form of exercise that provides physical, mental, and psychological benefits. Here are the best “side effects” you can get from practicing yoga regularly:

  • Greater flexibility. Students of yoga who start with poor flexibility experience an increase in the range of motion as they continue to practice the different yoga poses. The muscles and joints in your back, hips, shoulders, and hamstrings will gain flexibility over time.
  • Increased strength. Doing several yoga poses that require you to support your own body weight and moving in and out of poses slowly increase muscle strength.
  • Increase in muscle tone. Since you’re getting stronger, your muscle tone also increases. The challenging yoga poses help shape those long, lean muscles for a slimmer silhouette.
  • Pain prevention. When your back muscles are strong and pliable, your chances of experiencing certain types of back pain are lowered.
  • Improved breathing. Yoga breathing exercises or pranayama, teach yoga students how to maximize the use of their lungs to breathe in air that benefits the body.
  • Normalized bodily functions. Yoga is such a great overall exercise that after practicing it for some time, you will notice your bodily functions slowly normalize: blood pressure decreases; weight stabilizes; immune system becomes stronger; glucose, sodium, cholesterol and triglyceride levels decrease; balance, reflex, and endurance improves; endocrine function regulates; digestion and waste removal systems normalize.
  • Mental calmness. Concentrating on how you breathe and how your body performs the different poses bring a certain level of calmness to the mind.
  • Increase in mental sharpness. Yoga helps improves concentration, memory, and attention.
  • Increase in body awareness. Since most poses require you to pay attention to the smallest, most subtle details of your body parts to improve alignment, this leads to improved posture and increase in self confidence and self acceptance.
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