Do you ever wonder - WHY YOGA?

Why practice yoga? Is it to be more flexible? Build Strength? Nail that headstand? There's more to it than just the physicality.

Why Yoga?

Yoga is a mental and physical practice of exercises, poses, and meditation techniques that enlighten the mind as well as the body. Many individuals turn to yoga to better their flexibility or nail that instagram photo, but there is so much more to gain from this practice far beyond the physical benefits. Yoga London's Top 5 Benefits of Yoga:

1. Improves Mental Health and Overall Well-being

Yoga can provide a welcomed escape from the hustle and bustle of busy, everyday life. This alone is relaxing. Even just 10 minutes a day can be enough to de-stress and carry a sense of calm with you throughout your day. Many asanas (yoga poses) are designed specifically to improve relaxation and decrease stress and anxiety, while others (like inversions) create a sense of uplifting energy for your day. Regular yoga practice has been clinically proven to lower the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

2. Improves Quality and Quantity of Sleep

A good night's rest is imperative to overall good health and well being. Many adults aren't getting enough sleep every night. Yoga has been proven to improve the quality of sleep and help with insomnia. This is achieved mainly by reducing stress and providing a challenging physical workout. A national survey conducted by Harvard Medical School found that 55% of survey participants who did yoga said that it helped them improve their sleep, and 85% said yoga helped reduce their stress levels.

3. Increases Energy

Like many types of exercise, yoga can increase your daily energy levels. Unlike more intense forms of exercise that can drain you, yoga tends to be a more gentle way of getting the blood pumping and will release endorphins in the body which increase energy levels for the rest of the day. Inversion poses can be especially energizing because they stretch and awaken the spine while increasing oxygenated blood flow to the brain. 

4. Builds Strength

Yoga is a great example of an effective bodyweight exercise that can build strength just as efficiently as lifting weights. When positioned in various asanas (yoga poses) your own body weight can be used to build significant strength. Arm balances build powerful upper body strength, while the warrior series can really burn up your lower body. Poses like boat pose and forearm plank (including all variations) are great core strength builders.

5. Increases Flexibility

Want to feel more youthful and get rid of that stiff, achy feeling in your limbs? Many exercise programs neglect the importance of a good stretch. Yoga is a great way to stretch those muscles, while building strength, and make them feel more limber and pliable again.

We would love to hear what keeps brining you back onto your mat, comment below!