There are countless benefits of yoga, and most of them apply to your mind and body simultaneously. When we hold tension, trauma, stress, or fear in our bodies, it not only causes mental distress but physical problems as well. So many physical ailments are made worse from (if not directly caused by) stress, from tension headaches to digestive problems and more. Here are just a few high-level benefits you’ll get from a regular yoga practice:


  • Strengthens your muscles
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Boosts circulation
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Alleviates chronic pain
  • Improves your balance
  • Helps you sleep better

When tension is relieved from your body and mind, your overall health improves. Incorporating yoga into your weekly workout routine can help your muscles and mind recover, which is so important for a well-balanced fitness regimen.

Yoga is not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well. In fact, perhaps one of the hardest parts of a yoga practice is learning how to quiet the mind in moments of stillness. While different yoga styles offer different things, almost all of them will incorporate moments of stillness or meditation. Many classes incorporate this part at the end where you’ll wrap up your practice in savasana or “corpse” pose. Some newbies find savasana (usually the last part of a class) the hardest part of yoga—it looks something like this:

  • you lie on your back in gentle relaxation
  • the instructor will help you find a quiet breathing pattern
  • you be encouraged to listen to the sound of your breath
  • listening to your own breathing helps draw attention away from your busy mind
  • for those who have difficulty, it help to find a mantra, or phrase, that you can repeat with each breath. Something simple like “Just be” or “I am grateful.” The repetition matched with the breath is very soothing

Just like in meditation, it’s important to remember during a yoga class to simply let your thoughts come and go. We all have “monkey mind” as they call it, where our thoughts jump around chaotically, but don’t judge yourself—become the peaceful observer of your thoughts and watch them come and go. Learning to quiet your mind during yoga or meditation takes practice, so allow yourself to be a beginner and do the best you can.

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