Downward-Dog, Pidgeon, Happy Baby Pose. These yoga poses might sound a little bit funny to you, but did you know that a regular practice of Yoga has many health benefits?
A study published this year on healthy volunteers evaluated the effect of 40 minutes of yoga a day on blood parameters such as oxidative stress and antioxidant components, stress hormones and immune related cytokines.
The daily yoga program consisted of body poses, breathing exercises, meditation and awareness practices.
The practice of 40 minutes of yoga daily was found to decrease the components of blood that contribute to oxidative stress, and increase the levels and activity of glutathione, which can increase the antioxidant status in the body. Compared to the placebo group, those who undertook the yoga program had decreased levels of adrenaline, which can contribute to stress levels and our ‘fight and flight’ response in the body.
The yoga group was also found to have increased levels of immune related cytokines, which can assist with healthy immune function. Finally, the practice of yoga was also found to increase amounts of serotonin in the body, which is our happy and mood lifting brain chemical. There are many different types of yoga, but all types focus on the practice of being mindful and present whilst performing the yoga poses. You will often find most classes include a small amount of meditation time.
What are you waiting for?
Grab your yoga mat and head out to your local yoga class and experience the amazing health benefits of Yoga!