As an ancient practise, much is known about the therapeutic effects of yoga and its overall contribution to improved health and wellbeing.

If you are new to yoga however or haven’t yet made it a regular part of your exercise and self-care routine, you may be wondering what the ongoing benefits of daily practise are.

As a complete mind and body discipline, there are a range of both physical and mental advantages to yoga. Read on to find out more.

A calmer sense of mind, less anxiety and stress

If you suffer from anxiety or stress or often find your mind racing over myriad subjects, yoga can help you to find a quieter, calmer mental state.

More intense forms of exercise such as a boxercise class or HIIT session cause the heart to beat faster and release adrenalin.

Yoga however nurtures the Sympathetic part of the nervous system.

With a focus on breathing and form, it can calm the mind, leading to less anxiety and a sense of feeling centred.

This in turn can lead to more restful sleep, which can also help to stabilise the mood.

Improved blood flow and organ function

There are hundreds of yoga poses but there is a commonality in how your trunk moves throughout each pose.

The forward and backward action, along with the bends and stretches required help to aid better blood flow, improved circulation and fight poor blood flow to organs, which can be a side-effect of sedentary lifestyle or office work.

Yoga can help ease depression

If you suffer from depression, there is some evidence to suggest that regularly practising yoga can help to alleviate it.

When yoga is performed, a special type of protein the blood is increased – it is thought that this helps to repair and protect the brain, which can lessen the feeling of depression.

It can help to improve brain function

Many studies have been carried out which assess the link between yoga and improved brain function, with several studies focusing on the impact of yoga as a means of staving off memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

One study had a group of senior citizens practise yoga regularly for a period of six months.

A comparison of brain scans after the six month period showed that the area of the brain responsive for memory (which can shrink with age) had actually gained, suggesting that yoga can be beneficial to preserve certain areas and functions of the brain and keep it active and healthy.

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