The many benefits of yoga

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Yoga is a relaxing and energising way to keep fit, and it comes with plenty of health benefits. Here are three reasons why you might want to consider joining a class, rolling out a mat and striking a pose.

1 It makes you more flexible

Stiffness is a common complaint as people get older and are often less active than they used to be. A typical class will take you through a number of different movements and poses which get your body to move and stretch. According to webmd.com, with regular practise, these poses can help you to improve your flexibility and range of motion, and mayoclinic.org says that yoga can also lead to better balance and strength.

2 It helps to reduce stress and anxiety

Most of us deal with some level of stress in our day-to-day lives, but feeling high levels of stress on a regular basis is far from normal and can be detrimental to your health. If you’re taking a bit of strain, there’s a body of research that shows that yoga can help.

Healthline.com cites a study that looked at the effect of yoga on 24 women who felt they were emotionally distressed. After three months of twice-weekly yoga sessions, they were found to have “pronounced and significant” improvements in perceived stress, anxiety, wellbeing and depression.

 3 And it can help you get better ZZZs

Given that yoga is a relaxing form or exercise, it’s not surprising that it helps to improve sleep. So, if you find it difficult to get enough shut-eye, it may be worth giving it a try. A 2012 US National Health Interview Survey found that over 55% of respondents who practise yoga said that it helped them to sleep better – and 85% said it helped to reduce stress.

Keen to take up yoga? These days, there are plenty of classes on offer and chances are you’ll be able to find one close to you. Or, if you’re considering settling down in a retirement village, classes may be available on the premises.