Yoga has many health benefits and has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Potential health benefits may include stress reduction, improved flexibility, weight loss and increased strength. Yoga helps clean blood of waste material (through lymphatic stimulation), and trains us to loosen muscles and joints that are ignored in our day-to-day lives.
Yoga is a great option for pain prevention. Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Yoga also improves your alignment which helps prevent many other types of pain. Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don’t give much thought to how we breathe.
Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, focus the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.