The benefits of yoga

Perks of fitting yoga into a daily routine


Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons

McKenna Baxter, Author

With school starting again and homework assignments rolling through the front door, the leisurely summer lifestyle is halted, leaving a good number of students disappointed, spacey, and even a bit stressed. Thankfully, there are many ways to alleviate stress and ease the tension caused by the transition into the new school year, though yoga is quite possibly one of the most beneficial activities to partake in. There is a perfect blend of physical and psychological perks in yoga, so the mind and body will both get special treatment.

“The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” says Dr. Natalie Nevins, a family medicine doctor in West Hollywood, California. notes that there are more than 100 unique types of yoga. Many of these variations incorporate some form of breathing, meditation, or assuming poses to flex and strengthen muscles in different areas of the body. While yoga improves athletic performance and reduces body weight, it also improves respiration, increases flexibility, and helps protect the body from injuries. Furthermore, it helps eradicate chronic pain, including headaches and arthritis.

As well as keeping the body healthy, yoga also helps promote the mind. explains that yoga will increase self-acceptance and social adjustment. It is also noted by that yoga will help calm nerves after a fight. A person partaking in yoga will notice an improvement in their mood, as well as a decrease of anxiety and depression. Fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, and depth perception are also enhanced by yoga exercises. Cognitive functions will also run smoother when yoga is introduced into one’s lifestyle. Attention and concentration improve, and remembering things becomes easier. Lastly, learning new information becomes much more efficient.

Finally, there are biochemical benefits derived from yoga. Antistress and antioxidant effects are evident after partaking in yoga, helping prevent degenerative diseases. Yoga provides an increase in Vitamin C, hemoglobin, and oxytocin, the hormone that strengthens the effects of social bonding, as well as a decrease in total cholesterol and sodium.

Junior Noelle Helmlinger declares that, while she does not particularly enjoy yoga, other people can find uses for it. “Others may find it relaxing, or it may help them take their minds off of things,” Helmlinger says. “Just because I don’t enjoy it doesn’t mean that others won’t!”

According to sophomore Brandon Dao, yoga’s strengthening of the mind and body could work wonders on others if they took the time to incorporate it in their daily routines. “I think people would be a lot healthier,” Dao declares.

The benefits of including yoga in one’s daily routine, even to a minimal extent, can and will provide many benefits to the body and mind. Whether it be stretching, posing, or even simple breathing exercises, yoga will bring physical and psychological improvements to those who choose to take advantage of its ample rewards.