Worldwide, an estimated three hundred million people practice yoga and the numbers continue to grow. What is it exactly that draws us to this modern spin on an ancient art? There are countless esoteric reasons to practice yoga, but what is the appeal for a left-brained person? Yoga practitioners have known for years what modern science is beginning to prove. We now have concrete evidence that yoga is advantageous for the proper functioning of our minds and bodies.
The most obvious results of a regular yoga practice are increased flexibility and, depending on the style of yoga practiced, improved strength for our
muscles and bones. A regular yoga practice induces a chain reaction of benefits for the human body; becoming stronger and more flexible can correct
our posture, better posture can lead to improved breathing and better breathing is beneficial to our nervous system.
A well-rounded class that includes balancing poses can increase one's sense of proprioception (the sense of position and movement), and help to avoid falls
later in life. Studies show that afflictions of the nervous system, such as addition and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be ameliorated with a regular
practice. In addition, certain components of a good yoga class including savasana (relaxation at the end of a yoga class), pranayam (breath control)
and meditation provide downtime for our nervous systems. Overall, yoga makes us feel more relaxed, provides a break from our busy lives and promotes
Practicing yoga helps to increase our circulation and facilitates the movement of lymph in our bodies, warding off disease. If your class includes the chanting of 'om' or other mantras, your sinuses can also benefit. Ask your healthcare provider if yoga is right for you and choose a style of yoga that suits your needs. Be sure that your teacher is experienced, certified and registered with a governing body (such as Yoga Alliance) and discover for yourself the many rewards that yoga can offer.