June 21st is International Yoga Day and we have all heard that yoga is ‘good’ for us, but what are the relevant benefits for you?

Stress reduction

A regular yoga practice can aid with reducing stress, anxiety and tension*. Through different breathing techniques and concentrating on ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’ , yoga can reduce the level of cortisol in the brain which triggers a state of rest and relaxation, in turn this can reduce stress levels. 

Sleep quality

The recommended guideline for sleep is 7 – 9 hours per night, however due to our busy lives this isn’t always possible.  Studies** have shown that by incorporating yoga into your daily routine, the quality of sleep we do get can increase. It does this through increasing melatonin production, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle. If you are feeling energetic before bed, practice some light yoga movements to help you unwind from your day before getting into bed.

Flexibility and strength

Yoga is a great way to work on your flexibility and strength. By trying out new positions you will be stretching different muscles and broadening your range of movement. Positions require you to bear body weight in different ways and by holding these poses, you can work towards strengthening and toning different all areas of the body including your core, legs and arms.

So how about using tomorrow as a day to celebrate yoga and explore these benefits? 
Gympass have over 200 yoga locations in the UK and Ireland. Explore them all here and find the closest one to you. 

*: Li, A & Goldsmith C. (2012) The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. Alternative Medicine Reviews. 17. 21-35. 
**Halpern, J. & C. (2014) Yoga for Improving Sleep Quality and Quality of Life for Older Adults. Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 20. 37-46. 

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