Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that helps to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Its popularity has grown more and more over the years, as it can be for anyone at any fitness level.

There are so many options with yoga! So, you can be inside, outside, in a class, on your own, using a YouTube video, or DVD at home. Therefore, there is no need for any equipment or special clothing whatsoever.

Yoga has a whole host of benefits to our bodies, many of which lots of us probably aren’t even aware of!

Improves flexibility, strength, and posture

Yoga is unique full of positions and poses that help stretch various muscles to improve flexibility. You will also start to see improvements after regular 15-minute sessions within 8 weeks. The more often you practise each of your poses, the stronger your body becomes. You are teaching your body to rely on its strength to hold your position for long breaths. Along with many of the positions ensuring you are working different muscle groups.

Reduces Stress

Yoga, when practised in the right way can be as soothing as a massage or a hug when it comes to reducing tension. Certain poses have a wonderfully deep calming effect on the body, helping our muscles to relax and our tense shoulders to drop. When our lives are frantic with the boss chasing for a deadline, the kids demanding to know when dinner is ready and the car MOT due, trying to focus on one thing can seem impossible. However, with practise it becomes so much easier. Yoga can help you breathe better, in turn helping you concentrate more and relax your mind slowly. As you go through the motions in yoga, and spend more time doing a routine you’ll begin to allow yourself to release your emotional energy – again, making life feel less frantic and leaving you feeling in control.

Be Happier

People and events in our lives are not what causes us to stress, or be unhappy, it is how we react.  By practising yoga, you are learning to listen to your body, and honour what it needs, automatically making you happier. Practising yoga raises oxytocin, GABA and serotonin levels, creating a chemical reaction making you feel happy. All of these practises leave you feeling more energised and you’ll notice you’ll feel more energetic in other areas of life!

Weight Loss

Although subtle, yoga does assist in losing weight, and helping you get healthier. The more you work your body, the more toned you’ll become. Yoga, as well as a good healthy diet (less sugar, and less fat), you’ll notice a difference in your weight.

Read more: Fun exercises for those who hate working out