Yoga increases flexibility and reduces stress, but the practice can do more than help you twist your body into near impossible postures to find inner peace. These hidden benefits will help you in the kitchen, office and bedroom.
1. Boost Immunity
A recent Norwegian study found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. And it doesn’t take long: The researchers believe the changes occurred while participants were still on the mat, and they were significantly greater than a control group who went on a nature hike while listening to soothing music.
2. Ease Migraines
Research shows that migraine sufferers have fewer and less painful migraines after three months of yoga practice. The cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, but most agree it is associated with stress. Yoga is one of the best stress reduction exercises you will engage.
3. Boost Sexual Performance
Studies have found that 12 weeks of yoga can improve sexual desire, arousal, performance, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction for both men and women. Mentally, the breathing and mind control involved with the practice can also improve performance.
4. Sleep Better
Researchers from Harvard found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia. This can be attributed to yoga’s ability to help people deal with stress. Sleep issues are like anxiety. Breathing and mental exercises allow the mind to slow down, so you’re going to start to see yourself sleep better.
5. Fight Food Cravings – Weight loss
Researchers from the University of Washington found that regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, an awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. By causing breath awareness, regular yoga practice strengthens the mind-body connection. The awareness can help you tune in to emotions involved with certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when cravings strike.