If you are someone who has never practiced yoga, you might be curious as to how yoga could be beneficial to your health. Sure, you might think, stretching and deep breathing are great, but what more can it do? What you might not realize is that yoga is so much more than this. There are many benefits of yoga, and hopefully if you are hesitant about trying it this list will convince you.

1. Yoga can build strength. Poses like downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) and plank pose (uttihita chaturanga dandasana)  help strengthen you arms because they are your main source of support for these poses.  Downward facing dog also helps to strengthen your back. Chair pose (utkanasa) also helps to strengthen the back as well as the legs. Yoga helps build strength because you rely on your own body to support you in your practice

2. Yoga can improve posture. Most yoga poses require you to tighten your core in order to stay balanced and in control. This leads to the ability to sit up straighter because your core is stronger. Yoga also raises self awareness, which can help you to notice each time you allow yourself to slip into bad posture.

3. Yoga can improve the quality of your breathing. Breathing in yoga is often times  meditative , especially during times of winding down. The breathing in yoga is always controlled, and comes from the diaphragm . This could teach you how to keep your breathing steady even when struggling through a challenging physical task.

4. Yoga can help relieve stress. This relates back to the breathing in yoga especially. You may remember receiving advice whenever you were stressed out to “take a deep breath”.   Yoga can also help you de-stress through certain poses. Interestingly enough, we hold a lot of negative emotion in our hips. So,  certain hip-openers can help release tension and negative emotion stored there.

There are other benefits to yoga, but these are the main ones. I hope that you will give yoga a chance now that you know it can lead to a healthier you.