That 20 minutes of yoga I do every morning makes a huge difference in how my day goes.
I’m more focused and more flexible. I feel less stressed and know I’m better toned. I start the day with a great outlook.
Ok, I just made all that up. I WISH I started every day with yoga. I’ve done a little yoga, and the benefits of this gentle practice are so vast I want to do more. I believe hope remains for me, and the timing is perfect.
September is National Yoga Month and Sept. 30 is Worldwide Yoga Day. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has designated National Yoga Month since 2011 to grow awareness of yoga’s proven health benefits.
Please note the phrase, “proven health benefits.” We’re not talking touchy-feely, woo-woo claims without any foundation in research.
Yoga encourages relaxation and helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
Need more? Check out these additional benefits of yoga:
- PAIN RELIEF: Studies show that practicing yoga postures, meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and back and neck pain, and other chronic conditions.
- BETTER BREATHING AND CIRCULATION: People who practice yoga take slower, deeper breaths, which improves lung function and increases the oxygen available to the body.
- FLEXIBILITY: Yoga increases range of movement and reduces aches and pains. Yoga also helps improve body alignment and posture, which in turn relieves back, neck, joint and muscle problems.
- INCREASED STRENGTH: Yoga postures use every muscle in the body, and also help relieve muscular tension.
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Yoga, even less intense styles, including using a chair, burn excess calories and reduce stress. People who feel better develop more healthy eating habits.
- CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING: Even gentle yoga practice can lower the resting heart rate, increase endurance and improve oxygen intake.
- IMPROVED FOCUS: Yoga turns attention to the present and opens the door to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
Sign me up!
No, really. I hereby commit to All About Women readers that on Sept. 30, Worldwide Yoga Day, I will do 20-30 minutes of yoga. Why don’t you join me and let us know how you felt?