Do you have a daily yoga practice?
Yoga offers incredible benefits for your body and mind. Many of these benefits can be experienced in a single session! But why stop at one? Making yoga a part of your daily routine offers long-term benefits that you can start to experience almost immediately.
Your daily yoga practice doesn’t require a studio membership or big time commitment; it could be done in your own living room in as little as 15 minutes a day.
Whether you’re considering trying yoga for the first time or you’ve been practicing here and there for years, here are 8 benefits of committing to practicing yoga every damn day.
Improve Physical Well-being
Yoga is great for your body and overall physical well-being. It improves range of motion and flexibility in the joints and the musculoskeletal system. It keeps the fascia flexible and resilient, minimizing pain and discomfort due to age or chronic illness/injury.
Yoga doesn’t just help with flexibility — it can also be a great strength-building exercise.
Better Sports Performance
Professional athletes like LeBron James, Blake Griffon, and Tom Brady (to name a few) rely on yoga for better sports performance.
If you’re a runner, golfer, cycler, or participate in any other fitness activity, including yoga into your training could improve your performance off the mat.
A 10-week study on male college athletes found that yoga improved balance and flexibility and enhanced athletic performance — and that was with only 2 practices a week.
Because daily yoga exercise increases range of motion and flexibility, it can be a useful tool to improve physical performance and fitness and help prevent injury in other activities.
Boost Energy Levels
Feeling tired? Yoga may offer you a much-needed boost to your energy levels.
Yoga incorporates deep breathing with physical activity. We all know that getting moving can increase circulation in your body. As that blood circulates, it transports oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.
When your breathing gets too shallow (which tends to happen when you’re stressed or tense), your body gets less oxygen. That’s why you can feel super zapped after a particularly stressful day. Deep breathing is another way to get more energizing oxygen into your system.
By aligning and extending the spine, yoga encourages the body's natural energy to flow more freely. This also encourages the circulatory system to function more efficiently. When everything is brought together, you get the boost of energy you need to make it through the day.
A few minutes of yoga at lunch will give you the energy boost you need to keep your mind clear and focused on the tasks you have waiting on you.
Yoga may be one of the most effective things you can do to combat stress.
In 17 different studies featuring over 1,000 participants, the majority found that yoga resulted in improvements in physical or psychological measures related to stress.
And 85% of participants in a national yoga survey reported that yoga helped them relieve stress.
By combining deep breathing and meditation, yoga encourages the body to release the stress that builds up during the day. Even a few minutes a day could help your stress melt away.
Healthy Weight Loss
Can yoga help with weight loss? The research suggests that yoga can be a helpful tool for your weight loss goals.
In 2013, a review of 17 yoga-based weight control programs found that most of them led to gradual, moderate reductions in weight.
Another review of 10 studies of yoga in overweight or obese individuals found that practicing yoga was associated with reduced body mass index (BMI; a measure of body fat based on height and weight).
A 2018 survey of 1,280 young adults showed that practicing yoga regularly was associated with better eating and physical activity habits.
Remember the stress-reducing benefits of yoga? Stress can increase your production of cortisol, a hormone that has been linked to weight gain. Since yoga helps to minimize your stress levels, it may also reduce your risk of stress-related weight gain.
Deep breathing is an integral part of yoga exercise. The more you practice, the better you become at breathing deeply and fully.
Many times, especially when we are under stress, we fail to breathe effectively. Yoga encourages us to draw a breath in as deeply as possible and exhale slowly and purposefully. This lets the lungs pull in the oxygen and use it as efficiently as possible. Yoga also teaches how to exhale fully so that toxins are released with the breath.
Better Mood and Positive Outlook
Yoga benefits reach far beyond flexibility and strength. 67% of yoga participants reported it made them feel better emotionally.
And science is backing up these claims.
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety. They found yoga was associated with increased GABA production.
Yoga and Mindfulness
Many yoga practitioners begin their yoga journey for physical reasons: they want to be stronger, more flexible, have more balance. But during their journey, an unexpected thing happens…
They discover mindfulness and better self-awareness.
Yoga is a practice with mindfulness built-in. Quieting your mind, focusing on your breath, and observing your thoughts without judgment— these mindfulness practices are incorporated into the yoga ethos.
Mindfulness in itself carries so many physical, emotional, and mental benefits that we won’t even attempt to get into them all here.
Get even more mindfulness benefits out of your yoga practice by adding a 5-minute meditation to the end of your daily practice.
Practicing yoga on a daily basis, even if only for a few minutes, may improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. It works to restore balance and helps you to maintain it for longer periods of time. Yoga can help to relieve the pain and discomfort of chronic illness. It's long-term health benefits are well researched and life-enhancing.
With all of the incredible benefits that yoga brings, why wouldn't you want to practice every day?