"The central premise in yoga is "everything is connected."
There are, as you can imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons to try Yoga... But when discussing the reasons during my Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200) Training, the 'Top Ten' that we highlighted were as follows:
Stress Relief- Who doesn't need stress relief?? Yoga can help reduce the physical effects of stress on the body, by lowering the bodies cortisol (stress hormone) levels, as well as help ease depression, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia. Yoga can assist in lowering a persons blood pressure and heart rate, and is also said to improve digestion and help boost the immune system.
Pain Relief- This was a big one for me!! It is said that by practicing Yoga, you an ease both physical and emotional pain. The practice of yoga asana's (or postures) as well as meditation are said to ease everything from back pain to chronic conditions (think fibromyalgia or arthritis).
Better Breathing- Well, it goes without saying that breathing is important :) Yoga can simply help a person breath better. By consciously working on controlled and full breathing the body becomes more relaxed, your lung capacity can be improved and the oxygen available to the body increases.
Flexibility- Who doesn't want to be more flexible?!? The practice of yoga can help improve the bodies flexibility and mobility while increasing the bodies range of motion.
Increased Strength- The variety of yoga asanas the are practiced during a session work a wide range of muscle groups in the body, and can literally help you become stronger from head to toe!! The strengthening benefit of yoga, goes hand in hand with increased flexibility.
Weight Management- Weight Management... The elephant in the room... Everyone wants to loose weight, myself included, and Yoga is an AMAZING way to do that! Many of the yoga styles (including the less vigorous styles), help reduce the bodies cortisol levels and burn excess calories. The practice of yoga also encourages healthy living and healthy eating habits, which I will go into more during my upcoming discussion on 'The Second Limb of Yoga', (Niyama. the attitude towards one's personal lifestyle and manner.)
Improved Circulation- The practice of various Yoga poses helps improve circulation and 'efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body's cells".
Cardiovascular Conditioning- This is a HUGE motivator for me personally! The practice of Yoga helps lower the resting heart rate, increases endurance and improves oxygenation during exercise.
Better Body Alignment- The practice of Yoga can also help a person have better posture by improving the bodies alignment and relieving back, neck and joint discomfort.
Focus On the Present- 'Being Present' is a very important skill to have. Whether it be for yourself, your loved ones or even those pesky co-workers. Yoga helps improve your focus on the here and now to help you become more aware and to promote 'mind-body health'!!
I can honestly say that my desire to get health has, at some point, touched all of these reasons. As I said, there are MANY more out there, so feel free to comment below with your reason for your Yoga Practice!!
And lastly, for more information on the health benefits listed above, please check the following sites: