As well as being great exercise, Yoga aims to balance body, mind and emotions and bring an invigorating sense of wellbeing amid a challenging physical routine.

The great thing about yoga is anyone can reap the benefits – people of any age, gender, body size, strength, flexibility. Yoga will make you feel better, no exceptions. You may need to find the style and teacher that suits you and your situation, but once you do, yoga has the capacity to change your life for the better.

1. Improves breathing

One of the pillars of all Yoga practice is related to breathing. The idea that breathing is responsible for oxygenating the whole body is already common sense, but in Yoga it is also believed to have the function of connecting body and mind.

Learning to be conscious of the way you inhale and exhale, and integrate this with stretches and movement will bring greater harmony to connect the whole body.

2. Increases flexibility

You’ve probably seen photos on the internet of people practicing yoga contorting themselves into impossible postures that can defy gravity, right?

With the stretches, the body acquires greater flexibility and resistance. This flexibility is related to the body’s ability to perform certain movements and to accommodate postures that bring many benefits – ranging from increased blood circulation to preventing pain.

With more flexibility your body has more mobility, joints are lubricated, wear and injury are avoided and muscles create more resistance. And don’t stress if you’re a beginner: There are ways to modify yoga poses to fit your not-so-limber limbs until you’re a more seasoned pro. Check out these moves to help you get started.

3. Reduces stress

Breathing exercises, and especially meditation, are a great way to calm the mind and body, as well as releasing the individual of all the tension and nervousness built up throughout the day. Studies suggest that practicing yoga can boost your mood.

For the same reason, Yoga is also an incredible weapon in fighting diseases such as anxiety and depression. From the scientific point of view, yoga releases in the body endorphins and serotonin, substances that increase oxygenation of the blood, the sensation of pleasure and the relaxation of muscles. The practice can even help relieve chronic pain, according to a Harvard Medical School report.

4. Improves concentration

Paying attention to your breathing is a way to cease negative thoughts that can hinder you from fulfilling the demands of everyday life. Yoga may also help boost brain function and improve reaction time post-workout, Runner’s World reported.

With a more calm and balanced mind it is possible to focus on day-to-day tasks with more ease and good will. Smaller duties become easier and can be done even faster and more efficiently.

5. Creates greater body awareness

Yoga is one of the most efficient ways to integrate body and mind and achieve a mental and emotional balance, allowing you to feel more aware of your body’s functioning and its natural needs and limitations.

The philosophy of Yoga is very important to interiorization, that is, to look within oneself. This helps to understand that each has its own time and limitations and that there is nothing wrong with it. It is a path to a much healthier mental and emotional peace.

Since there is no competitiveness in yoga – an aspect found in many other sports and physical activities – it can be beneficial to people of all abilities. It recognises that each person has different capabilities, and that personal progress is all that matters.

Convinced? Find out how to find a gym that offers yoga classes near you by clicking here! If your company has Corporate Gympass, consult your HR to join.