While today’s is a guest post, I wholeheartedly agree as both a yoga teacher and practitioner.

We all know yoga is popular, but not many of us know why. If you’ve ever watched someone in a yoga class then you may have found yourself asking whether it does anything at all. Yoga is actually pretty intense when you do it for a period of time and to help you better understand why you may want to make it part of your everyday life, we have put together a list of the great benefits of yoga.

Better Flexibility

Being flexible is not only convenient but it is also very helpful. If you aren’t very flexible, it is much easier to injure yourself while doing simple tasks. Maybe you lean a little to far to the left and pull a muscle or reach down to pick something up and a sharp pain shoots down your side. This wouldn’t happen as often or at all if you took part in yoga because your body would be used to all sorts of movements. You’ll feel much more in control of your body as a whole.

More Strength

If you aren’t feeling very strong these days, yoga can help you change that. While yoga may not look very intense from a distance, once you get started; you’ll soon realize just how tough it is. There is something very powerful about holding a stance for a period of time. If you think about it, it’s not something we typically do unless we are laying down or seated in a chair and this simple task can actually help to strengthen our muscles one at a time.

Happier Overall Mood

So many people suffer from depression or loneliness and there’s a good reason for it. Too many of us work longer hours than we should, barely get any sun and don’t interact with our friends and loved ones as we used to. Yoga is not only a great experience because you can take classes with others but it gets your blood pumping and releases endorphins which are going to make you feel much happier. It’s always good to find something to do that can get your mind off of things. Stressing all of the time isn’t good for anyone so try yoga out to give yourself a break.

Decrease Pain

While sometimes the last thing you want to do is move those areas of your body that are sore, if done properly, you can actually make them less painful. Sometimes certain areas of the body aren’t used enough and they become stiff. A little stretching can go a long way and greatly reduce your pain over the long term.

Sleep Better

As you have probably noticed with many forms of exercise; yoga is going to help you to sleep better at night. It has a calming effect that can’t be beat and since your blood can circulate more freely, all of your body is going to function much easier. Getting rid of built up energy is going to allow you to sleep at night and not feel so wound up.

Fred Jones is a fitness trainer by profession, although he is now retired. He is the owner of several fitness blogs. Fred believes both Physiotherapy & Pilates are necessary for maintaining good health.

Photos by CC license, courtesy of Flickr users: stephcarter, eflon, lululemonathletica, markjsebastian