Health and wellness circles are constantly preaching the importance of yoga and meditation for your overall well being. Knew Health is no exception – we <3 yoga, and there’s a reason for that! Actually, there’s multiple.
There are plenty of science-backed reasons for why you should be incorporating yoga into your lifestyle, and we’ve tried to distill some of those below. The most important thing is that yoga and meditation should be fully integrated for a holistically supportive practice.
Both yoga and meditation are mind-body practices, and the health benefits are mental and physical:
Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Relieves Stress and Anxiety. Yoga alone reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and promotes relaxation. It’s a great starting point for people trying to naturally fight anxiety and depression and all the bad thoughts that come with them – a little bit of movement goes a long way, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes of smaller stretches or quiet time in the morning.
Supports a Healthier Heart: One of the physical benefits of meditative movement is better cardiovascular health and support. Studies have shown that yoga can improve overall heart health and lower your risk for heart disease by lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This goes hand-in-hand with reducing stress levels, another risk factor for heart problems!
Encourages Better Eating Habits. By practicing mindfulness in movement, you’re better able to translate that to other important parts of your life – including diet. Studies have shown that meditative movement helps encourage healthy eating behaviors and even treat disordered eating. If you’re more in tune with your body and its needs, you’re better able to practice intuitive eating – that is, noticing when you’re full, hungry, or in need of specific foods or nutrients. It also means you’re less likely to binge eat and can even encourage heathy body weight.
Decreases Inflammation: Another physical benefit – a consistent yoga practice strengthens the muscles around your joints and helps reduce inflammation and the likelihood of arthritis. For those who are already navigating arthritis, a gentle yoga practice can be really helpful in reducing symptoms.
We know it can be overwhelming and intimidating to make a lifestyle change, but it’s totally possible. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of free YouTube channels out there if you want to start exploring – but please, remember to support health educators and content creators by subscribing and contributing if you’re able.
Joshua Rosenthal MScED is a visionary in health and wellness. He is founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, an online higher education school where students are trained as Health Coaches. Founded in 1992, the school has a global community of 100,000 graduates in 155 countries worldwide. Joshua is the author of many books and holds a Masters of Science degree in Education.