Benefits of Yoga

Christina Schultz demonstrates a yoga pose. As the only yoga teacher at Jupiter High, she is excited to share her skills.

Christina Schultz

Christina Schultz demonstrates a yoga pose. As the only yoga teacher at Jupiter High, she is excited to share her skills.

Yoga is not only fun but also full of health benefits. For those who practice yoga on a regular basis, they claim it has the ability to transform one’s life for the better.

Yoga improves flexibility

When some people start yoga, they might find it impossible to touch their toes. When practiced often, however, you will notice you keep getting closer and closer to your toes each session. Not to mention the pains around your body may decrease. To see improvements in flexibility, try some of these safe and effective poses: big toe pose, bound angle pose and child’s pose.

“It’s a low impact and very relaxed exercise; it improves many aspects of a person,” said freshman Sarah Alexander, who is in Christina Schultz’s third-period yoga class at Jupiter High.

Yoga increases focus and decreases stress

An important element of yoga is clearing the mind, leaving behind stressful thoughts of day-to-day life, to focus on the present moment. Yogis tend to be better at focusing because they practice meditation.

Researcher Neha Gothe, a professor of kinesiology, health and sport studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said, “Meditation and breathing exercises are known to reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn can improve scores on some cognitive tests.”

Schultz teaches the only yoga class currently offered at Jupiter High, and she is a yoga instructor outside of school at Breathe Salt Yoga in Jupiter.

“I feel less stressed and more relaxed in stressful situations…also I have gotten so much stronger and in better shape,” said Schultz.

Yoga increases blood flow

Yoga is one of the best ways to get your blood flowing because the movements in yoga increase circulation. Practicing inversions, like handstands, encourage blood flow from the legs to the pelvis then to the heart.

According to Becky Stripe from Care2, “Often the causes of poor circulation are out of our control, but one way to improve your body’s circulation is with exercise.”

Yoga gets your heart and mind pumping

Exercise improves your mood and your heart because of the increased blood pumped to the muscles. Yoga has proved to lower risk of heart attack and depression.

According to Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School, “A wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression.”

Yoga involves self-soothing techniques, while getting your blood flowing, and leaves you “zen” after a practice while increasing your heart rate.

Yoga helps you sleep

Yoga can help relieve stress. Meditation and yoga go hand-in-hand in most cases because each movement connects with a breath. According to yogis, ‘Yoga Nidra’ is the best technique to reach full relaxation. Yoga Nidra is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. You are focusing on your breathe while gaining flexibility.

According to Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., from Psychology Today, “Yoga and other regular forms of exercise can help to form the basis of a long-term, sustainable lifestyle that helps you sleep more, and better.”