Eight health benefits of yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice which strengthens the body and uses the breath to quieten the mind. In an increasingly stressful world, yoga has become more and more popular as a practice to bring calm and serenity to the body, mind and soul.
We spoke to Katy Lomas, founder of Calm on Canning Street in Edinburgh and award-winning yoga teacher, to outline eight key health benefits you will experience when you practice yoga regularly.
Yoga helps us de-stress
Yoga is proven to de-stress the mind and help manage anxiety and depression. By focusing on deep breathing during our practice, we shift the balance from our sympathetic to our parasympathetic nervous system which lowers blood pressure and reduces our heart rate so we feel calmer and more grounded afterwards.
Yoga improves flexibility and strength
When we practice yoga, we awaken muscles and begin to stretch parts of the body we don’t normally use. Stretching our muscles keeps them healthy and strong and builds and maintains the range of motion in our joints.
Yoga improves blood circulation and blood flow
One of the most important functions in the body is the circulation of blood to supply blood, oxygen and nutrients to organs around the body. Practicing yoga, especially inversions, improves your blood flow and therefore supports healthy skin, cell growth and energy.
Yoga can help with pain management
Yoga is excellent in helping manage pain by lubricating the joints reducing stiffness and building strength and resilience in the body. It has also been shown that yoga reduces the stress hormone cortisol whilst increasing endorphin levels contributing to a ‘Yoga high!’. Using a good quality mat will also greatly reduce any pain and discomfort when practicing yoga.
Yoga can boost your immune system
Yoga assists the lymphatic system to fight infection and dispose of toxic waste products in the body.
Improves bone strength
By bearing our own weight in yoga in poses such as downward dog, we strengthen our bones which helps us ward off osteoporosis.
Yoga helps you focus
The practice of yoga encourages you to stay in the present moment by continuously encouraging the mind to return back to the breath. Regular practice improves coordination, balance and memory.
Yoga improves sleep and insomnia
Yoga works the body and helps the mind cultivate a sense of relaxation and calm, meaning you can look forward to a deep sleep afterwards.
We’ve teamed up with Katy to offer our readers a free yoga class at Calm on Canning Street (Address: 16 Canning St, Edinburgh EH3 8GZ). Simply visit the timetable on the website, select and sign up to the class of your choice and use the code ‘LUXURY’ to claim your free class.