Why You Should Take Up Yoga

Standing under a tree in a park on your lunch break, practicing yoga is a millennial stereotype many of us want to avoid. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Here’s all the reasons you should take up yoga.

Physical Benefits

Back pain

Back pain can be caused by many factors, including a bad posture, weak abdominal and pelvic muscles and  a lack of flexibility in the hips. If you’re back gets sore, yoga is for you. There are many poses that help soothe painful backs. This works by lengthening your spine, stretching and strengthening your muscles and improving your overall posture.


Losing Weight

Doing small, relaxing, slow-paced movements may not seem like an effective way to lose weight. But hear me out. Despite what you may believe, yoga is about more than just stretching on a mat. If you’re doing yoga properly, it will require physical and mental strength, focus and endurance.

Power yoga and vinyasa are the most effective forms of yoga to lose weight. These fast paced flows will ensure you’re getting a cardio workout and stretching your muscles. Doing these types of yoga means you can burn up to 600 calories an hour.


Strong immune system

Susceptible to colds and always feeling run down? Another reason to roll out the mat and give yoga a chance. It has been scientifically proven that yoga strengthens your immune system.

This is because yoga practices such as asana helps lower your stress hormones, reducing your chances of getting sick.

As well as this, asana yoga is also good for digestion. If you’re feeling bloated, then use the postures to help cleanse, stimulate and encourage good food digestion.


Joint pain

Unlike other forms of exercise, which can actually weaken your joints, yoga is an effective way to treat joint pain without medication. The fluid movements of yoga allows your swollen joints to glide smoothly over each other.

This will increase mobility without damaging your joints. Certain poses will increase muscle strength flexibility and your range of motion.


Mental Benefits

Relieve stress

If you’ve just finished uni, have just started a new job or are looking for one, chances are you’re very stressed. And you probably have been for quite some time. One of the many mental benefits of yoga is it can relieve this stress.

Certain poses require us to focus on just one thing. Like meditation, this works wonders to make us feel calm and relaxed, lowering our stress response.

Make yoga the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning, to help you feel calmer and more relaxed all day. Alternatively, end your days with yoga, helping you to unwind and switch off from a stressful day at work.


Sharpens attention and concentration

Not only can yoga strengthen your body, it can even strengthen your brain. Super brain yoga boosts your brain by stimulating your grey matter.

Do you want to be more creative at work, improve your memory, be able to focus more effectively, or stimulate thoughts and ideas? Then this form of yoga is definitely for you.


Awareness of yourself.

If you’re worrying about the past, or what might happen in the future, you could be having a negative effect on yourself and your friends.

If you need help focussing on the present, then yoga can be a very effective way of clearing your mind.

The power of yoga can make you aware of your thoughts. It has been suggested that not only will this reduce your own anxieties, it will also make you more sensitive to other people’s needs. This can help you become a better friend and colleague and greatly improve your social relationships.


Breath Calm

It may seem strange to suggest that you need help breathing, but many people do. Many of us breathe too quickly because of the stress of day – to – day life. Yoga teaches you to breathe slowly.

When we panic, we breathe too quickly, heightening our adrenaline. Using yoga to control and slow down your breathing has many positive effects on your mind. These include making you more calm and focused every day, better enabling you to deal with pressure. They have even been shown to have a positive effect on your mood, making you feel happier.

These are just a handful of the abundance of both mental and physical benefits of yoga. And all of them can be reason enough for you to take up the exercises to deal with your specific problems.

So what are you waiting for? Roll out a mat and discover which physical or mental discomforts yoga can help you to soothe.


Rosie Fitzgerald is a freelance journalist, who studied English Literature and Creative Writing at UEA and has previously been published by The Tab, Babe and The Guardian.

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer.