By Sanjana Umarale
Every day, a growing number of people choose to take a hiatus from their treadmills, ellipticals, and weights, and join a yoga class. Let’s be honest, an hour dedicated to breathing and slow-moving postures is a lot more appealing than an hour spent sweating in the confines of a gym! Because yoga is often viewed as a stress releaser or way to relax, many are ignorant to the true healing power that yoga possesses. Unlike any other form of exercise, yoga unites the body, mind, and spirit to create a single functioning unit of harmony. Give it a try- whether you choose the ever popular Hatha style or take a risk with Bikram yoga or “hot yoga”, you are guaranteed to feel stronger, in more control, and of course relaxed, after even a single session. In terms of medicine, yoga is considered a mind+body approach to complementary and alternative medicine. Substantial research has shown that the combination of poses (asanas), breathing (pranayama), and meditation found in yoga leads to a wealth of health benefits.

Check out this chart comparing the health effects of yoga to the health effects of traditional exercise:

Furthermore, with a regular practice of yoga you can reap the rewards of increased flexibility, balance, and weight loss, as well as the possible reduction of blood pressure, pain, fatigue, and heart rate. So the next time you’re at the gym, sign up for that yoga class! What do you have to lose?

 
 

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