photo:Trevor Dye traveling Yogi http://www.trevordye.com

Beside the fact that you look good doing it or that it gives you that ever so needed relaxation after a long day at work, Yoga has found plenty of ways to improve our lives. I pulled this article off fitness.com for those of you who wonder what it does but dare not ask in fear of an answer like “It reconnects the heavens to earth and open up your inner beauty so all may see the light in you.” This all may be true but for those of you who want just a little more/less of an answer, here goes 5 solid ones for you.

article: Jaclyn Cousins, Sep 16 2009

Yoga has been known to affect people’s health in many ways. Its primary function is to promote body relaxation and increase flexibility, but researchers have proven Yoga to have even greater affects on people’s health. In a recent study from Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, they showed how three 75 minute yoga sessions a week helped ease symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The study was performed on a group of women between the ages of 45 and 75. The Yoga sessions had other positive results for the group of women including: improved balance, and a decrease in symptoms of depression.

But, there are many ways that Yoga can help improve your health. Here Fitness.com lists 5 major and perhaps surprising things Yoga can do for you:

1. Helps Fight Food Cravings: Yes! It’s true! A regular Yoga routine can actually keep you from putting on that extra bit of weight you’ve been trying so desperately to fight off. Food cravings are generally known to strike when our body and muscles are feeling tense, therefore loosening muscles with Yoga movements can really make you fight off that chocolate bar craving. Prevention magazine put out a study where they used 15,500 average weight adult males and females – where they gained 3 fewer pounds annually over the course of four years when following a set routine of 30 minute Yoga sessions per week.

2. Increases Your Performance in the Bedroom: The movements that you use in Yoga aren’t only useful on a Yoga mat, but in the bedroom as well. Yoga is known to improve balance and flexibility. According to Women’s Health, yoga followers can use the strength and confidence they develop in Yoga for the bedroom. With such movements that increase your blood flow and body alignments that increase sexual desire, Yoga is definitely a bedroom enhancer. Poses that focus on abdominal contractions that strengthen your core will also strengthen your orgasms because of the focus on the pelvic muscles. Yoga can also make you more assertive under the sheets.

3. Helps Cancer Patients Sleep Easy: The focus on meditation and breathing in Yoga poses generally help relieve stress from your day, and make you sleep better at night. A study from the University of Texas Cancer Centre showed how cancer patients improved their sleeping patterns by practicing Tibetan yoga. Patients took a 20 minute yoga session once a week for a period of 7 weeks, leaving them falling asleep faster, easier, and having a reduction in their sleep medication dosages.

4. Decreases Risk of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: Balancing your life with a regular Yoga routine can greatly benefit your heart. A study found in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, looking at 98 adults with different health issues (hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, etc.), found a huge improvement in cholesterol and blood sugar levels of these individuals with the addition of a regular Yoga routine. All 98 adults took part in an 8 day lifestyle modification program based on Yoga poses focusing on posture, meditation, breathing, support, and nutrition.

5. Makes for a Healthy Pregnancy: Yoga poses can not only calm you, but your little one swimming around inside you new mothers to be. According to a study found in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, new mothers who practice yoga tend to have a safe delivery. 335 women that were studied added a yoga routine during their second trimester, birthed healthy weight babies with lower pregnancy- induced hypertension.

Now, go enjoy some Yoga!

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