One of the things people ask me about constantly is the health benefits of yoga. People want to know if yoga will help them live longer, lose weight, or even grow a few inches taller. Sure, yoga can help your health in amazing ways (that goes without saying - and the studies don’t lie!), but I also love telling people about all the ways yoga can improve everything from their careers to theirs love lives.
Embracing yoga is all about maximizing the mind/body connection and letting your movements transform your life. I’ve put together a list of 10 of the most surprising ways yoga can improve all areas of your life. Keep this list around for the next time you need some encouragement for waking up early or carving out a few extra minutes from your day to treat your body and soul to a yoga session.
It Could Help You Land a Job or Get a Raise
One of the great things yoga does for your body is help you strengthen your core, teach you how to balance your spine, and attain good posture. Did you know that your posture is actually one of the things people notice about you within the first few seconds of meeting you? Proper posture will cause people to perceive you as confident and assertive in settings like a job interview, a corporate presentation, or a meeting with your boss.
It Can Boost Your Social Life
Study after study has shown us that the true secret to long life and happiness is meaningful interactions with other people. Visiting a yoga studio on a daily or weekly basis is a great way to feel like you’re part of a community and make lasting friendships.
It Might Offer Protection from Injury
The gracefulness and flexibility you acquire from yoga doesn’t just help you look good while posing on the mat. Being flexible can actually help you avoid injuries in everyday life. The ability to be flexible might just save you from broken bones and sprains if you fall, trip, or make impact during the course of your daily life. A body that does yoga is able to avoid the damage that bodily stiffness often causes when people sustain injuries.
It Can Help You Battle Depression
Studies have shown that regularly practicing yoga can increase serotonin levels (the happiness factor) and decrease cortisol (the stress and depression factor). The more frequently you practice yoga, the more promising the results are.
It May Help You Fight the Effects of Sugar
Yoga has been shown to reduce insulin sensitivity. Lowering your blood sugar naturally through yoga may help you keep your weight under control and avoid the various serious effects of diabetes.
It Can Help You Ace That Test or Presentation
If you need to focus on studying for an exam, writing a paper, or giving a presentation at the office, yoga just might help you. The meditative aspect of yoga has been shown to help people solve problems better and recall information more quickly and accurately. A few hours a week in the right poses could translate to being a total rock star in the office or the classroom.
It Can Improve Your Sleep
Better sleep equals a better life, period. Yoga can help you get to sleep easier each night by helping to regulate your breathing and keep your nervous system in balance.
It Could Help You Avoid the Flu This Year
Everyone dreads that time of year when everyone around them begins sneezing and coughing. It can feel like catching the dreaded flu is inevitable no matter how many pills you pop or homeopathic treatments you try. However, some yoga sessions just might help you avoid needing to call in sick or making a visit to the doctor. Yoga is known to boost immune systems and raise antibody levels in response to vaccines.
It Can Make Food Taste Better
While yoga doesn’t directly improve your taste buds, it does promote good digestion and stomach health, which can make every bite you take go down a little sweeter if you routinely battle stomach aches or indigestion. People who suffer from ulcers or IBS may be able to lessen symptoms by adding yoga to their diets. In addition, it is thought that many of yoga’s “twisting” poses actually aid in moving waste through the digestive system.
It Will Improve Your Wardrobe
Remember how much fun dressing up as a little kid for dances classes was? Then the world became all about looking like a grownup and wearing clothes that were meant for school and work. Yoga apparel is a lot like dance apparel – it comes in fun colors, it makes you feel free and light enough to fly like a bird, and it’s fun. Unlike your dance clothes from childhood, you can actually wear yoga clothes to places other than the dance studio without worrying about your mother yelling at you.