Benefits of Yoga

Many people think of yoga as a workout, but there is much more to it than just the physical practice of yoga asana or poses – and much more than just physical benefits!  A well rounded yoga practice is a full mind-body experience, and will also incorporate pranayama, or breath work, and an aspect of meditation or mindfulness.  

Together, these components of a yoga practice provide a whole host of wonderful benefits that everyone from pre-schoolers to seniors can benefit from! 

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Physical Benefits

Improves Balance

Specific yoga asana, or poses, can challenge muscles to work in ways they may not be used to which can lead to improved balance [1] and decreased fall risk!

Increases Flexibility 

A regular yoga practice helps to stretch tight muscles and increase flexibility and range of motion [2].

Improves Strength & Endurance 

Certain yoga practices, depending on the specific poses and intensity, can increase overall strength and endurance [5] and can even help to improve posture!

Can Improve Breathing / Increase Vital Capacity 

Most yoga practice incorporates pranayama, or breathing exercises, which have been shown to improve overall breathing health and vital capacity [3].

Improves Bone Health

Weight bearing exercises – like yoga poses! – strengthen bone (Wolff’s Law!).

Can Counteract Chronic Pain and it’s Effect on the Brain

“Chronic pain is known to cause brain anatomy changes and impairments, but yoga can be an important tool for preventing or even reversing the effects of chronic pain on the brain.” [7]

Mental Health Benefits

Can Decrease Stress 

Several studies have shown that yoga can help to decrease stress and anxiety and improve quality of life [3].

Can Help to Improve Mental Health 

The basic intention of a yoga practice is to prepare the body and mind for meditation.  The meditative quality of a yoga practice provides benefits of mindfulness and has been shown to improve overall mental health [3].

Improves Focus

A meditation and mindfulness practice can help to improve your ability to re-direct your attention and focus.

There’s a lot of great research out there looking at the benefits of yoga – one of our goals here at adaPTed Yoga is to bring this research to you!  Stay tuned for more information on the benefits of yoga and how to incorporate yoga into your daily routine!

What benefits have you experienced from your yoga practice?

We’d love to hear!

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  1. Tiedemann A1O’Rourke SSesto RSherrington C. (2013) A 12-week Iyengar yoga program improved balance and mobility in older community-dwelling people: a pilot randomized controlled trial.
  2. Farinatti PT1Rubini EC2Silva EB3Vanfraechem JH4. (2014) Flexibility of the elderly after one-year practice of yoga and calisthenics.
  3. Smith C1Hancock HBlake-Mortimer JEckert K. (2007) A randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety.
  4. Birkel DA1Edgren L. (2000) Hatha yoga: improved vital capacity of college students.
  5. Caren LauRuby Yu, * and Jean Woo. (2015) Effects of a 12-Week Hatha Yoga Intervention on Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength and Endurance, and Flexibility in Hong Kong Chinese Adults: A Controlled Clinical Trial
  6. Wei M. (2017) Yoga could compliment traditional treatment for depression. 
  7. American Pain Society. (2015, May 15). Yoga and chronic pain have opposite effects on brain gray matter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 12, 2017 from

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