3 Awesome Benefits Of Yoga, Vol 1

 
 
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Focus/concentration

The practice of yoga can help increase blood circulation to the brain, increasing alertness and awareness. As a result, your mind does not digress from the task you are doing and you are also able to perform better.

A study conducted by the University of Illinois with 30 participants, practised 20 minutes of yoga, resulting in participants performing better at two tasks, identifying shape quicker compared to those performing other exercises or no exercise at all. Researchers stated that “the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quicker, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information."

 

Sleep

Certain yin yoga poses calm the nervous system and promote an undisputed sleep. As stated on Mind Body Green, when performing some yin poses for 3-5 minutes, it calms the body and aids sleep.

The Harvard Health Publications stated that a national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Additionally, it showed that using props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks improves comfort so that you can stay in the pose for longer and continue to breathe.

A study on yoga and sleep with 35 volunteers, used a mix of men and women who practised yoga consistently, found that yoga had positive impacts on sleep. The study showed that people who practised yoga regularly had better overall sleep quality, less episodes of disturbed sleep, took less time to fall asleep, had less daytime dysfunction, required less sleep medications and also felt more rested and energetic in the morning.

 

Positive Outlook

Wonder why you might feel a little bit more positive after a yoga class? Or why yoga teachers and practitioners are buzzing with the same positivity and smile? (Well most of them). During a yoga practice, chemicals within the body are released, one of those chemicals is called serotonin. This chemical is a neurotransmitter that influences our behaviour and mood. If our levels of serotonin are low then we are likely to feel fatigue, anxious, a sense of worthlessness, and possibly lead to depression.

The Natural Health Magazine explains that studies have been shown, with a consistent yoga practice, our serotonin levels can be increased with yoga asanas (postures) such as inversions and forward bends aiding the pineal gland resulting in serotonin production.

In a study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, they found that students reported feeling good after their yoga practice. Another chemical released during our yoga are endorphins. The Natural Health Magazine explains that “endorphins act as a communication channel between the brain and nervous system.” Research shows that yoga increases your endorphin levels after a class and are responsible for the sense of happiness we tend to feel after a yoga or meditation class. Endorphins are also known for creating a sense of euphoria and can be effective in managing pain. Scientific research has acknowledged, those practising yoga experience an increased level of endorphins, which is also know as a 'yoga high'. In 2013 a study found that students showed a significant reduction in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in endorphin levels.

 
YogaJay Symonds