Most people know that yoga can improve flexibility and reduce stress. While those benefits are certainly powerful reasons to start practicing, there are other health perks of yoga that go far beyond becoming more Zen and bending yourself into a pretzel.
Here are six very cool reasons to get some yoga in your life:
1. It’ll spice up your sex life.
Studies have found that yoga can improve the sex lives of both men and women! Certain poses and breathing techniques increase blood flow to the pelvic region, which then works to heighten genital sensitivity.
Furthermore, there are many yoga poses that improve flexibility and mental tranquillity over time, which can promote greater sexual stamina and more intense orgasm.
2. It can help you fight food cravings.
For all the emotional eaters out there, here’s a very good bit of news to chew on:
A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that yoga may be a formidable ally in the war on emotional eating, due to its ability to strengthen the mind-body connection.
In more basic terms, when you practice yoga you become more in tune with the emotional sensations associated with food cravings, and as a result you'll tend to make better choices when hunger and food cravings strike. Your ability to truly listen to your body becomes enhanced.
3. Your digestion will improve.
Think abou how great you feel after a really good massage. Well, your digestive system pretty much feels much the same after performing certain yoga postures. All day long your body’s digestive system is working hard and sometimes you might experience unfortunate and uncomfortable complications like indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, pain, or constipation.
Fortunately, there are many simple yoga postures, such as twists, that can help "massage" your body’s internal organs by facilitating your lymphatic drainage and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This promotes regularity and a very happy, relaxed digestive system.
4. You'll get a boost in brain power.
Exercise in general is a great brain booster, but a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that just 20 minutes of yoga can stimulate brain function more than walking or jogging for the same amount of time. And it doesn’t stop there — research has also shown that yoga can help relieve migraines.
5. It strengthens your immune system.
Yoga can strengthen immune health with deep breathing techniques that help get more oxygen-rich blood to the lungs and other organs. Furthermore, these techniques can also help combat stress, a commonly known risk factor for illness.
Basically, as you learn to breathe deeper, your body’s natural defenses will become stronger, and you’ll give your immune system a nice boost — all while you’re laying comfortably on your yoga mat!
6. You could add some height.
Yup, it’s true! There are certain poses which can help decompress the spine and vertebral discs; there's also Antigravity Yoga, which focuses on zero-compression inversions while you hang upside down from a silk hammock. End result: Your body decompresses, both figuratively and literally, while also extending in length. In my experience, you'll see a vertical boost of up to an inch and a half!
Photo courtesy of the author