Four Unexpected Reasons to Practice Yoga

Yoga practice continues to spread and grow in the United States. Classes are held at just about every gym, and yoga studios continue to proliferate.

But just what makes yoga such a popular practice? Many people start a yoga practice because they want to develop more flexibility. But flexibility isn’t the only benefit people find. And it may be the unexpected benefits that keep students coming to classes for years or decades.

Here areĀ four reasons to do yoga that you might not have considered.

  1. Develop Strength: Yoga not only improves flexibility; it can build strength, including in specific core muscles that might be neglected by a typical cardio or strength training routine. You might or might not be sweating like a grease monkey after a yoga workout, but either way your muscles will thank you later.
  2. Cultivate Peace: Yoga can be good for the mind, body and soul. Depending on which class you choose, you might experience different effects. Some classes are a combination of relaxing and energizing. Others are vigorous and leave you pleasantly drained. A restorative class might make you feel like you just had a great massage or a nap! Whichever class you choose, it likely will create a more peaceful mindset for the rest of your day or evening.
  3. Detox. Moving and twisting and stretching can move toxins out of your muscles and speed their exit from your body, leaving you feeling lighter and cleaner.
  4. Meet New Friends: Another benefit of yoga is that it gets you out of your home, away from the ever-present screens and keyboards, and opens the door to meeting new friends. Think of your yoga classes as a community of people who share an interest in slowing down and getting healthy.
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