Most people know that yoga can reduce stress and increase flexibility, but it does much more than help you find inner peace by twisting your body into almost impossible positions.
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1. Boosts Immunity
A study from Norway recently showed that practicing yoga changes gene expression in such a way that it boosts immunity all the way down to the cellular level. Even better; the results don’t take all that long to appear. The researchers conducting the study believe the results were happening while practitioners where still on their yoga mats. The results seen by the yoga group were much better than with the control group listening to soothing music and taking nature hikes. Yoga also boosts overall health, which means it boosts immunity in that regard as well. Read more to learn some of the benefits of yoga you might not know about.
2. Ease Migraines
Research has shown that three months of practicing yoga is all it takes to reduce the frequency and pain of migraines. No one quite knows just what causes migraines, but the researchers believe that migraines can be caused by a combination of mental stress and a physical misalignment responsible for causing several issues, including migraines. Staying hunched over a computer or cell phone with your head forward and shoulders up overlifts your trapezius and tightens your neck. This will pull your head forward and create a muscle imbalance that causes migraines and lesser headaches.
3. Boosts Sleep
Research was performed at Harvard that shows practicing yoga every day for eight weeks improved quality of sleep in people suffering from insomnia. Other studies back this up, including a study that showed practicing yoga twice a week helped patients with cancer sleep better and relieve their stress. Problems sleeping can be similar to anxiety in that you don’t know how you can relax and stop your head spinning. Breathing techniques and mental exercises can slow down your mind and help you relax and sleep.
4. Banish Food Cravings
One of the hidden benefits of yoga is that it can help banish food cravings, as shown by research from the University of Washington. The study showed that practicing yoga is associated with being aware of the physical and emotional sensations of eating, along with mindful eating. Yoga encourages awareness of breathing, which bridges the gap between the mind and body. This awareness makes you more aware of the emotions behind food cravings, while the breathing exercises slow you down and help you make the right food choice when the cravings hit.