Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga
Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on June 20, 2022
Are you grabbing breakfast, dropping off your kids at school, then racing to meet work deadlines before you pick up the kids, taking them to their after-school activities and preparing dinner once you get back home? Phew! Exhausting, isn’t it? Busy is a common adjective to describe our personal and professional lives these days. However, when we’re on the go all the time, we may neglect the exercise that our body and mind really need. Maybe we need to schedule some self-care into our daily calendars with an activity that takes little time but is so good for you― and allows you to go at a pace that matches your comfort level. We’re talking about yoga.
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and meditation and an important source of health and wellness. Ideally practiced daily, yoga can connect the body, mind and soul in a way that has existed for centuries. Here are the top health reasons you might want to roll out the yoga mat and stretch those muscles.
1. It improves our strength and flexibility.
If we get into the routine of practicing our poses, our body will naturally develop endurance and flexibility over time.
2. Decreases our stress levels and anxiety.
We all carry an abundance of stress and energy in our bodies. There are few better ways to shake it out than getting into downward dog.
3. Promotes mindfulness and gets us in touch with our bodies.
We may have muscles we didn’t even know needed stretching! By taking the time to focus on where we are carrying tension, or perhaps areas that are being neglected in our day-to-day lives, we can get more in touch with what our body and mind need.
4. Improves our sleep habits.
If we find ourselves to be a bit restless after a long day, yoga is an excellent way to release energy and get our body into a rested and relaxed state. This can go a long way in helping us get a good night’s sleep!
5. Reduces harmful inflammation in our bodies caused by stress.
Having a yoga routine can help reduce stress, and all the negative health effects that come with it, such as the build-up of compounds in our blood. If inflammation is causing you problems, consider making time for a bit of yoga!
6. Improves our body posture and promotes weight loss.
Yoga is a simple and easy way to exercise our body. When done routinely, you will notice significant changes such as an increase in your metabolism or even the way you carry yourself.
7. It can improve your brain functioning.
Healthy body, healthy mind! The benefits of stress reduction on the brain can't be understated. Yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress and bring ourselves to a relaxed and present state.
8. Improves our cardiovascular health.
A big part of yoga is breathing. We may not even notice how shallow our breathing can get, especially if we are anxious and stressed. Yoga can help us be more mindful of our breathing and teach us that sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a deep breath!
9. Boosts your immunity and the body’s response to illness.
Your body is a temple. and treating that way will help prevent illness. Yoga is an excellent way to improve our natural immunity to disease.
10. It can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone!
Perhaps the best part of yoga is how accessible it is! You can do it almost anywhere, so long as you have space for a mat. There are lots of virtual classes and trainers as well, meaning you can fit it into your hectic and busy schedule with ease. The benefits are incredible, and with how stressed and busy we are these days, it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone can benefit from a bit of yoga in their lives.
Do you have a Personal Wellness Account as part of your personal or group health benefits package? If so, it likely helps cover the cost of in-person or virtual sessions with a yoga practitioner. Not sure? If your plan is insured by Medavie Blue Cross, check your coverage through your member services site, mobile app, benefit booklet or speak to your company’s human resources representative.
International Yoga Day, June 21, celebrates the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing that yoga has brought to millions worldwide. Learn more about the health benefits of this practice when you make it part of your daily routine.
For over 75 years, Medavie Blue Cross has been a leading health services partner for individuals, employers and governments across Canada. As the country’s leading Blue Cross plan with over one million card holders, we are a premier all-in-one carrier that provides health, dental, travel, life and disability benefits to...