The Physical and Mental Benefits of Yoga

Updated on September 20, 2017
erratic ramblings profile image

Emily is a free spirit who manages her own website, Erratic Ramblings. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics.

What is Yoga?

It seems that everywhere you look these days, more and more people are starting to practice yoga. Studios have been popping up in cities all over the U.S., and it's hard to imagine the influx is limited to this country only. Despite this, many people still aren't sure what exactly yoga is but are too afraid to ask at this point. I mean, isn't yoga basically just a fancy way of stretching?

Well, to some, that's exactly what it is. There are many individuals who use yoga moves to stretch but don't adhere to the philosophical aspects of it. They do it mainly for their physical health. You could make the argument that they're not really doing Yoga then, but that's not necessarily true. Just because someone isn't utilizing every aspect of it, doesn't mean they're not doing it at all.

To others, however, Yoga is much more than a way of stretching. Rather, it's a way of life. In this case, Yoga begins with a capital "y". Individuals who practice this version do so in everything they do, including the physical movements. They use the practice to connect to the world around them and to their higher selves. Their practice of Yoga goes much deeper than the physical aspects.

What About You?

Why do you practice yoga?

See results

Benefits Galore

The beautiful thing about Yoga is that regardless of which type you choose to practice, you're going to experience some serious benefits. The art has been found to lessen chronic pain, alleviate headaches, and even lower your risk of heart attack. Of course, the more you put into it, the more it will benefit you - but every little bit counts.

There's no doubt that stretching of any kind leads to more flexibility, so it stands to reason that yoga would do the same. However, unlike regular stretching, it also builds your muscle strength and improves your posture. Here are a few more of the physical benefits you may experience:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Protection from osteoporosis through strengthened bones
  • Prevention of degeneration of joints and cartilage
  • Boosts to your immune system
  • Lowered blood pressure

There are countless other physical benefits to practicing yoga. Each move is designed for a specific purpose, so the benefits you receive have a lot to do with which methods you choose. To get the most out of it, find moves that target the specific area you want to improve. Otherwise, you'll still benefit, but it might not be in the exact ways you'd like.

The physical benefits are probably the most measurable, but they're certainly not the only ones in existence. Other benefits of Yoga go much deeper but are harder to measure. That doesn't mean they can't be measured, however. Many tests have been conducted to try to figure out the other benefits of Yoga. These are psychological benefits, though, which means they're largely dependent on the individual.

Overall, practicing Yoga improves your mental well-being. How does it accomplish this amazing feat, though? Well, for starters, it's a great way to relieve stress. The practice requires you to slow down and focus on your breathing and your body, rather than any outside concerns you may have. In turn, this releases tension and helps alleviate the stressful feelings you're having.

Yoga has also been found to reduce mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Along with this, it's been found to help prevent the onset of mental illnesses in adolescents, which is a growing concern in today's society. Here are a few more of the ways the practice helps out psychologically:

  • Lessens your inclination toward anger
  • Boosts your mood
  • Creates resilience
  • Enhances awareness and mindfulness
  • Improves memory and concentration

It's amazing what Yoga is capable of, but you must remember that you will only see benefits if you put forth effort. You should also keep in mind that most things don't happen overnight. It's easy to get disheartened, but it's worth continuing to try. After all, practice makes perfect and good things come to those who wait.

It's Your Journey

There will always be people who disagree with your beliefs and philosophies. While it's good to have an open mind, it's also beneficial to know where you stand and to not let others define you. Whatever your reasons are for practicing Yoga, they're your reasons. No one gets to tell you if they're acceptable or not.

The actual definition of the word yoga is union. It's a comprehensive system that was developed thousands of years ago in India to increase one's overall well-being. It has countless benefits, but you will only get out of it what you are willing to put into it. It's meaning depends on which practice you follow, but it also depends on you. Good luck on your journey. Namaste.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 EM Schultz


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)