What Are The Health Benefits Of Yoga?

What are the health benefits of yoga? Yoga expert Scott Blossom discusses the health benefits of yoga. One of the biggest benefits of Hatha Yoga is the neuromuscular repatterning which affects the way that...

One of the biggest benefits of Hatha Yoga is the neuromuscular repatterning which affects the way that we move ourselves. For example, someone who works in an office may get a lot of tension in their neck and shoulders from sitting for long periods at the computer. By learning to retrain their posture they can often relieve a lot of tension in the neck and the shoulders as well as tension headaches and other side effects that can come from chronic stress.

On a deeper physiological level, the practice of Hatha Yoga improves digestion and elimination. When you start to stretch and twist and bend and do all these things that put pressure on the internal organs, digestion and the elimination processes improve. Another physiological benefit is that a lot of people learn to breathe more optimally. Many people breathe in a way that isn't really natural or beneficial. There is lots of research about how improper breathing patterns will create a psychological state that tends towards anxiety, fear, and stress-type symptoms as well as not giving your body as much oxygen per breath, which has a big effect on the heart. When the body is not receiving enough oxygen, the heart speeds up to try to pump more blood.

The biggest benefit of all is learning how to deeply relax. There is hard scientific research that a great deal of our major illnesses like heart disease are directly related to stress and are very responsive to learning to manage stress more efficiently. Hatha Yoga is really balanced in the sense that even while you do vigorous postures, there is always an emphasis on relaxation and there is always a period at the end of each class when you deeply relax. The more skillful you get at learning to calm yourself down the more tools you have for managing stress in every day situations.

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