Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. The term of yoga in the western world refers to the modern form of hatha yoga, which utilizes yoga as an exercise. This exercise consists of various postures called asanas.
There are ten benefits of yoga:
1. Relieves Anxiety
Many people began practicing yoga as a way to cope with anxiety. Interestingly, there is quite a bit of research that shows people who practice yoga on a daily basis reduces their anxiety level. In one of the study, thirty-four women diagnosed with anxiety disorder participated in yoga classes twice weekly for two months. At the end of the practice, those who practiced yoga has a significantly lower level of anxiety than the control group.
It is not entirely clear how yoga is correlated to reducing anxiety level, however, it emphasizes the importance of being a presence at the moment and finding a sense of peace which could help treat anxiety.
2. Makes you happier
If you are feeling sad, do a fifteen-minute yoga. One study found that a consistent yoga practice is able to improve depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and decrease on the levels of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitter and decrease in cortisol level. Not to mention that it was found that the prefrontal cortex was found to show heightened activity in meditators, a finding that correlates happiness and better immune system.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Some studies suggest that yoga can also reduce the chance of inflammation. Inflammation itself is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
A study conducted in 2015 divided 218 participants into two groups; those who practiced yoga regularly and those who did not. Both groups then were asked to perform moderate and strenuous exercises to induce stress. At the end of the study, those who practiced yoga had a lower level of inflammatory markers compared to those who did not.