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10 health benefits of daily yoga practice
Just 15 minutes of yoga a day can change your brain chemistry and improve your mood
Need a pick-me-up? It’s tempting to got for a pint, order a pizza or treat yourself to some new shoes when you feel a bit low, but putting 15 minutes aside to practice yoga every day could transform your mood (and your health) in more ways than you could imagine. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, it’s easy to squeeze in just 15 minutes of yoga practice a day. Here are 10 reasons why it will be worth it:
1. Improve flexibility, strength, and posture
Daily yoga practice will help stretch and tone your body muscles. Popular poses like the plank will simultaneously work on strengthening your arms, legs, shoulders and abs. You don’t have to be super flexible to practice yoga, the beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced at all levels of ability.
2. Better all-round fitness
When thinking of improving your fitness, most of us think of huffing and puffing away at the gym. But weights are not the only way to work out. It combines aspects of cardio, functional and strength training all in one. What more could you ask for? The best part about this workout is that it can be done at your own pace, in your own home.
3. Weight loss
You don’t have to practice Hot Yoga or be able to bend double in a yoga pose to lose weight. An everyday gentle yoga practice will fuel the metabolic system and will help burn fat, leading to weight loss.
4. Increase your energy
Just a few minutes of yoga every day will provide that much-needed energy boost in our busy lives and will keep us fresh for longer. Yoga, with its unique synergy of body and breath work, is perfect when your reserves are running low.
5. Reduce stress
Any yoga practice, even a short daily one, should be made up of three elements; poses, breathing and meditation. Studies have shown that those people who regularly practice all three elements are better able to regulate their heart-rate variability (HRV). This generally means that their heart rate is lower, giving body the ability to respond to stress in a more flexible way.
6. Breathe better
Breathing deeply and calmly is an essential part of every yoga practice. Yogic breathing techniques (called pranayama) focus on trying to slow down the breath and on breathing fully from the pit of your stomach to the top of your lungs. These methods will make you feel more relaxed and balanced and will help you face the day with confidence and calm.
7. Be happier
Adding a few yoga poses to your daily routine can make you an emotionally stronger and happier person. A recent study has shown that practicing regular yoga and meditation results in higher serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).
8. Become more mindful
Yoga and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. When practicing yoga, you will shift your awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that accompany a given pose. That awareness will bring the mind back to the present moment – the main aim of mindfulness – where it can stay happy and focused.
9. Improve concentration and think clearer
Yoga poses and meditation require you to concentrate on your breathing. This process of observing your breath calms your mind and makes you more mentally relaxed. As a result of this mental stability, you’ll able to recollect and retain more information. Meditating for just a few minutes in the morning can result in better concentration throughout the day
10. Live longer
As you now know, everyday yoga will help you increase your level of fitness, regulate your heart rate, reduce your stress levels and make you a happier person. All those elements may add valuable years to your life.
It’s also known that yoga decreases the risk of heart disease, and it reduces the pace of your breathing which has been directly linked to a longer lifespan.