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I could sit and write for days about the way that yoga has changed my life. The way it has changed my thought processes, my mental activity, my attitude to life, the relationships with the people around me and my outlook on life in general. If you aren’t quite ready to believe me on all the positive “mind stuff” that yoga brings here is a list of actual physical benefits that happen to the body with a consistent yoga practice.

  • Increases flexibility.
  • Improves strength. (I have noticed this particularly in my upper body, arms, back and legs. Which is actually basically everything.)
  • Improves co-ordination.
  • Increases balance.
  • Stimulates new neural pathways.
  • Increases range of movement in joints.
  • Improves posture. (I generally have horrific posture and yoga has really helped me “sit up straight” -> {said in mother’s voice})
  • Increases lung capacity and circulation – yoga focuses on the control of the breath and by paying special attention to it and controlling it in this way – we can increase our lungs capacity for taking in oxygen.
  • Lowers resting heart rate.
  • Massages internal organs – there are some postures in yoga which actively massage and squeeze various internal organs and glands encouraging them to activate. (For example, the thyroid gland in Shoulderstand promoting a healthy metabolism.)
  • Protects the spine by ensuring that the vertebral column remains supple.
  • Increases blood flow and aids in circulation – especially with twisting postures that help bring fresh blood to those areas.
  • Increases serotonin levels in the body – ie: the happy hormone. (See, I told you).
  • Reduces insomnia – trust me, as someone who has always struggled to fall asleep – yoga has changed my life.
  • Encourages an awareness of body synergy – the hip bone, connected to the high bone, connected to the shin bone… you get the picture.

But don’t take my word for it…
get out your mat!