Got yoga?  You might be asking yourself why you should.  90% of people who participate in yoga do so to reduce stress, increase physical fitness, improve overall health, and for other positive benefits.  Here is a top five list of reasons and why!

1.  Can’t touch your toes?  Difficulty getting out of that comfy chair?  Try yoga!  Yoga has been known to improve flexibility and strength!  Whether practiced at a gym, at home, or in a studio, making yoga a part of your routine will enable you to improve your fitness and function in everyday life.

2.  Stress is highly damaging to our physical and mental health.  When we find healthy ways to manage or relieve stress, it becomes much easier to handle life’s challenges.  Yoga can aid in dealing with depression and anxiety as well.

3.  Spirituality and self-actualization are important aspects of health, as well.  Yoga is not a religion, even though it may have started out as an extension of religious practices.  Many practitioners of yoga find it to be a way to connect to their higher power, no matter their faith.  The movements (asanas) combine with breathing to allow people to delve deeper into the self, establishing a deeper spiritual connection in the process.  The practice is more than just physical.  Yoga allows for self-reflection, which can assist in incorporating kindness and compassion into our lives.  We are encouraged to grow, to further develop our sense of self, and to think about how we relate to others.

4.  In a few of the earlier points, we addressed the general benefits of yoga.  Now, let me touch upon some specific health benefits.  While yoga improves your overall health, there is research that shows a regular yoga routine of 3-4 times a week can help to improve asthma, chronic pain, and obesity.  So, yoga on!

5. Yoga gives us the opportunity to connect with others on and off the mat.  Some practice with family members and other loved ones as a way to connect and build relationships.  This is seen through partner poses and other such postures.  Yoga provides a means of connecting to what we have to who we are.