If you haven’t tried yoga yet, then you’re missing out. Starting a daily or weekly practice has tremendous benefit for anyone at any fitness level. Whether it’s a relaxing, breath-focused session or a vigorous hour of Ashtanga, yoga has helped many improve their overall health.

Here are just five of the many reasons to put some yoga in your life.

Benefits of Yoga:

  • Reduces stress and relieves depression. Yoga has been shown to increase mood-enhancing serotonin levels and decrease cortisol, a stress-related hormone.
  • Boosts the immune system. The flowing movements of yoga stimulate the lymphatic system, giving immune cells a boost and increasing the body’s ability to fight off illness.
  • Lowers blood sugar. People with diabetes can benefit from practicing yoga. It lowers cortisol and adrenaline levels, encourages weight loss, and improves sensitivity to the effects of insulin.
  • Increases mindfulness. Practicing yoga and meditation naturally shifts your focus to the “now” and slows down the mental loops of anger, fear, anxiety and frustration.
  • Lowers blood pressure. Studies show that those with hypertension experienced a double-digit drop in their systolic and diastolic blood pressures from practicing yoga over several months.

*Seek the guidance of your health professional by consulting your physician before starting any exercise program.

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