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Why Yoga? 

-Allison Nelson

Benefits of YogaThe word yoga means “to yoke”, or create a union between our body and mind. Yoga provides a multitude of benefits that are both physical and mental; therefore, incorporating a yoga practice into your exercise regimen could improve your daily performance in various facets of your life.

Not only does yoga increase strength and flexibility, it is also extremely healthly for our circulatory system. One of the most foundational pieces of yoga is the breath work, or pranayama. The yogic breathing techniques increase the oxygenation of our blood and the amount of nutrients carried to our vital organs, which translates to more efficient bodily systems. We can also improve our cardiovascular functioning and infuse our muscles with blood when we practice Vinyasa, or flowing yoga poses in sequence. This type of yoga practice results in stretching and toning of the heart, but can also offer the added benefit of enhanced fat loss.

We can also help to improve our posture through the practice yoga. Many of us may work a job where we sit hunched over a computer all day, or you may find yourself with “text neck” as you are frequently looking down at your phone, both of which may result in poor posture and spinal alignment. The movements and poses practiced in yoga promote proper spinal alignment, which assist to reduce back pain, improve breathing and circulation, and protect us against injury.

Many yoga poses require us to hold our bodies in ways that test our balance, and naturally our balance is improved with a regular yoga practice. Improved balance enhances our coordination between our brains and muscles. Improved coordination and communication between our brains and muscles can then assist in improving our core stability and the ability to isolate individual muscles more effectively.

All the benefits mentioned above are just a few of the ways that yoga can positively impact your daily functioning and the great thing about yoga is that it is for everybody and every body. By practicing yoga we are reducing our risk of chronic disease by lowering our stress levels, improving our overall physical health, and enhancing our blood flow to improve our internal health. Namaste, y’all!

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