As we all know, yoga is a Hindu spiritual discipline which is founded on simplicity.  It involves meditation, breath control and the adoption of specific bodily postures.  It is especially intended to achieve unity of the body, mind and spirit and to achieve inner peace, but many people practice it for relaxation and to enjoy its health benefits.

Here are some of the health benefits of yoga:

1. It helps to improve flexibility.

Yoga is not just a mental but a physical exercise as well.  It helps to strengthen your muscles and give your body a greater range of motion.  The regular practice of yoga can help to make many parts of your body flexible and these include your hamstrings, hips, shoulders and the upper and lower back of your body.

2. It helps to improve your strength.

Yoga helps to strengthen your body.  It’s because the different poses involved in yoga sessions require you to support your body in a lot of ways.  Some of the yoga exercises even require you to move slowly when you shift from one pose to another.  These poses, however slow, can contribute to increase your strength and endurance.

3. It helps to tone your muscles.

The regular practice of different yoga poses can help to increase your muscle tone.  This is an added benefit to the strength and endurance that you can get from regularly performing different yoga poses.

4. It helps to alleviate muscles and back pains.

Yoga increases flexibility of your muscles and joints.  It also helps to improve the alignment of your body, and this can lead to the relief of pains in your muscles, back, shoulders and neck.

Yoga can actually help to provide relief to people who are suffering from back pains due to prolonged stay in the same position, like sitting in front of a computer for hours.

5. It helps to promote proper breathing.

We may not be aware of it, but our breathing is sometimes too shallow that we are not able to provide our cells with sufficient oxygen to make us physically and mentally alert.

Yoga helps us to focus on our breathing with its breathing exercises.  It helps us to use our lungs to the maximum.  This in turn benefits us because it can help to give adequate supply of oxygen to the blood which nourishes the cells of our entire body.

6. It helps to give you mental calmness.

With meditation and focus, yoga can help to bring you to the point of mental calmness.

7. It helps to reduce stress.

Yoga is an intense physical as mental activity.  We are all aware of the fact that physical activity like exercise can help to relieve stress.  As a physical activity, yoga can already help to reduce stress.  Add to it your great concentration and your troubles will melt away.

Being free from stress can help you to gather yourself together and put things back into perspective.

These are some of the health benefits of practicing yoga.  Practice it and be rewarded of a great sense of well-being and inner peace.