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The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can also be stressful. End-of-year work responsibilities, family gatherings, buying presents, fighting crowds…it can all add up, leaving you feeling tired and miserable. But did you know that yoga can help? And not just with reducing stress, but to improve a number of other health factors as well.

Stress Relief and Mental Health

We’ve all heard that yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety. It also improves your mental health, your mood, and how you feel about yourself.

Body Image

A recent Harvard Health Publication article suggests that yoga improves your body image. Have you ever noticed that most yoga studios don’t have mirrors? The reason is that yoga encourages inward reflection instead of outward appearance. “Surveys have found that those who practiced yoga were more aware of their bodies…and more satisfied with and less critical of their bodies.” [1]

Better Diet and Weight Loss

According to the Harvard article, people who practice yoga also tend to pay more attention to their diet and adopt better eating habits. This can result in healthy weight loss, or maintaining a healthy weight.

Chronic Conditions

Yoga has also shown benefits in reducing “risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.” [2] Exercise, like yoga, has also been shown to help some people with chronic conditions, such as “depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.”

Take a look at the infographic below for additional information.

yoga benefits infographic

We at Horizon Family Medical Group encourage you to include safe and regular exercise, such as yoga, to improve your overall health.

Resources

  1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733
  3. http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/yoga.aspx
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