Yoga: Four Hidden Health Benefits

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Yoga: Four Hidden Health Benefits

Want to add yoga to your wellness routine? Here are just a few of its health benefits.


Yoga is a leading health-and-wellness practice, with about one in seven American adults claiming to practice yoga in a 2017 survey. If you are thinking about yoga, consider these health benefits:

Reduces Stress

One of the top reasons adults practice yoga is to reduce stress. The reflection and breathing used in yoga can help a person to relax and relieve tension.  

Relieves Back Pain

Yoga helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your lower back and spine. Dr. Lauren Elson, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School says a mindful yoga practice can help people "safely improve their mobility and strength while stretching tight and aching back muscles.” Reducing pain can improve your ability to walk and move.

Helps You Sleep Deeper

A 2017 study found that nearly half of U.S. adults experience sleep issues. Of those, 30% say they practice some form of mind-body exercise, including yoga. Doctors suggest practicing calming yoga poses and the Ujjayi Breath (oceanic breath) before bedtime to sleep deeper.

Improves Muscle Strength

Yoga is a gentle way to build and maintain muscle strength with your own body weight. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Practicing yoga regularly will strengthen your arms, legs, core, and back. Positions can be modified based on an individual’s abilities.

Interested in Trying Yoga? Set up at home!

Practicing yoga at home has loads of benefits, in addition to the ones listed above. You can practice anywhere, day or night, don’t need too much equipment and it’s pretty inexpensive. Here are some tips to get you started:

·       Find a comfortable and quiet spot for your yoga practice.

·       Grab your yoga mat—it’s all you really need.

·       Commit to a time for when you’re going to practice. Start small, such as 10-15 minutes a day and at a time that is best for you.

·       Pick your class! The advantage of doing a home yoga practice is that you can decide which class  you’re going to do. Set up your laptop and hit play!

Not sure where to start class-wise? We can help.

Looking for a class? EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care offers free virtual and in-person classes every week. View our event calendar. And remember to always talk to your doctor before starting or changing an exercise routine.


Additional sources:
National Institutes of Health, accessed 6/11/2021
WebMDaccessed 6/11/2021


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