Soothe Body and Brain, Sweet Dose of Yoga

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YogaYou don’t always have to try and fight with the chaos of daily life. Instead, surrender to a sweet dose of yoga. Yoga’s combination of languid movements, controlled breathing and meditation can make a marvelous recipe for soothing stress, according to the Mayo Clinic. This age-old practice can be an ideal way to give your body and brain the break they both need.

Improve Fitness

Yoga’s precise poses can contribute toward improving your overall fitness level, thanks to their ability to target and enhance strength and flexibility. You’re apt to find yourself moving more smoothly through your daily tasks and even finding relief in previously painful areas. You can use specific poses to target areas or conditions that are causing you grief, such as asthma, neck pain or menstrual cramps, according to Yoga Journal.

Soothe Stress, Fight Fatigue

Not only can yoga help fight off the stresses of daily life, it can also combat tension or anguish brought on by chronic conditions. A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found the mindful meditation component of yoga was particularly helpful to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

The same may hold true for those with other chronic conditions, such as depression, insomnia and back pain. Add yoga into your current routine if you have one, or slowly experiment with other fitness routines to discover the combination that benefits you the most. For example, if you have chronic back pain, you can mix in yoga with other spine exercises to maximize your success.

Boost Your Brain

Boosting your brain power is another yoga benefit, according to a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. The study found that a 20-minute yoga session resulted in “significantly superior” brain functioning as compared to results found after aerobic exercise or doing no exercise at all. Yoga specifically helped improve reaction times and accuracy, making thinking quicker and more on-target.

Untangle Your Thoughts

Yoga can increase your brain’s power, and it can also decrease its noise. Rolling out the yoga mat and slithering into your practice makes you focus on your movements and breath, an ideal remedy for quieting the mind.

Alleviate Anxiety

Yoga’s mindful meditation can help wipe out anxiety, or at least decrease a large chunk of it. A Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience study discovered anxiety levels decreased by up to 39 percent in those who engaged in the simple practice of meditation by focusing on their breath. Additional good news from the study was that participants had no prior meditation experience, which means decreasing everyday anxiety levels is possible even if you’re new to a yoga practice.

Upgrade Your Spirituality

Yoga is all about awareness—awareness of your body’s positioning, how you move, how you breathe and what you’re thinking. Yoga Journal points out that such awareness during your yoga practice opens you up to notice some of the subtler elements of life and create a firmer connection with the world around you. That connection to the outside world, in turn can transform your own inner connection to something much greater and powerful than yourself.

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