Have you been wondering why everyone seems to be obsessed with yoga lately? Maybe you’re considering giving yoga a shot. If you’re looking for reasons to have a yoga practice, consider these three, research-driven benefits:
Increases feelings of happiness
Depression and anxiety have become commonplace in the western world. With or without a formal diagnosis, the majority of us suffer from some form of stress which often leads to feelings of unhappiness . The stress hormone known as cortisol is one of the primary culprits of our feelings of stress. Yoga has been shown to lower levels of this troublesome chemical. What’s more is that yoga also increases one of cortisol’s worst enemies – serotonin, the feel-good chemical in our brains.
Enhances concentration and focus
In yoga, the breath is just as important as the physical movements of the practice. The breath helps us to ground ourselves in the now. Through yoga, we are better able to be present in our daily lives. Having presence benefits us in that we find our thoughts and emotions to be less distracting so that we can focus on the task – and moment – at hand.
Improves the quality of sleep
Certain types of yoga, such as restorative, Yin, and Yoga nidra, can have a profound effect on our sleep. There are even particular postures, when practiced before bed, can assist in getting a better night’s sleep . Without healthy, restful sleep, we can’t function at our full capacity during the day. Recent research tells us that a consistent yoga practice can allow us to achieve a deeper, more peaceful quality of sleep.
As attractive as these three benefits are, they only scratch the surface of the many positive effects of having a yoga practice. One thing is for sure; there certainly isn’t any downside to it!
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