While some practise yoga as a way to find a moment of tranquility in this fast-paced world, others attend as a means to achieving their very best body. Just ask Meghan Markle, who rolls her mat out on the regular for both reasons.
“Yoga is my thing,” the Suits star tells Best Health, explaining that her love for the meditative discipline began in her childhood. “My mum is a yoga instructor, and I started doing mummy-and-me yoga with her when I was seven. I was very resistant as a kid, but she said, ‘Flower, you will find your practice – just give it time.’”
Nowadays, the actress mixes up her methods to ensure she’s never wary of the same routines. “I change it up: I’ll do yoga a couple of times a week – hot yoga, especially. I love an intense vinyasa class – and even better if it’s blasting hip-hop and done in a dark room with candlelight. The best!”
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build strength or simply find your inner peace, yoga will help you achieve all of this and so much more:
10 Ways Yoga Can Help Improve Every Woman's Life
1. Relax and reduce stress
The stresses of daily life can take a serious toll on both the mind and the body, which is why it might come as welcome surprise to discover that yoga can reduce the physical and mental tolls this stress can take.
By encouraging relaxation and inner peace, yoga can lover the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can slow your resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and improve digestion and immunity.
2. Be heart healthy
A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that yoga had the ability to quite significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Throughout the study period, researchers were able to conclude that yoga participants lost an average of two kilograms, decreased their blood pressure, and lowered their “bad” cholesterol levels by 12 points.
3. Tighten your core
If a set of rock hard abs is what you want, then you’ve come to the right place.
Yoga poses force the body to lengthen and activate key muscle groups at the same time, meaning you get an all over workout while still feeling complete and utter tranquility.
4. Increase flexibility
Whether your goal is to simply tie your shoelaces without throwing your back out, or to finally achieve that wheel pose, yoga will help you get there.
Over time, yoga helps to improve mobility and flexibility in the body, which can significantly reduce general aches and pains as well as headaches.
5. Fight dementia
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that yoga can assist with memory problems, including Alzheimer’s as well as dementia.
In results that may surprise you, the findings suggested that yoga worked better than brain trainers, such as sudoku, puzzles and crosswords, when it came to cognitive problem management.
6. Improve sleep
Yoga has also been known to have positive effects on conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia. That’s right, better sleep could be an asana away.
By turning your senses inward, yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life by providing downtime for your nervous system. A by-product of which is better sleep — which means you’ll be less tired and stressed and less likely to have accidents.
7. Keep your digestion in check
On top of this, other recent research has found links between yoga and the improvement of health issues including fatigue, obesity, chronic pain, asthma and irritable bowl syndrome.
Yoga, like any physical exercise, can ease constipation – and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer – because moving the body facilitates more rapid transport of food and waste products through the bowels.
8. Helps with post-natal healing
Yoga is also a fantastic way to restore the core in recovering mums after childbirth. Specific post-natal classes and poses are widely available to new mothers as a safe means to regaining lower abdomen strength, and tightening the pelvic floor.
Yoga also gets your blood flowing, which helps with healing. As a result, more oxygen gets to your cells, which function better as a result.
9. Improves spinal alignment
Like many things, it may not happen overnight, but soon enough after following a steady yoga regimen, the ligaments, tendons and muscles of your body will lengthen while simultaneously building strength, resulting in better alignment and posture.
Yoga can also build muscle strength over time and protect you from injury in the long run. Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people.
10. Boosts mental health
One study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol.
At the University of Wisconsin, doctors found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function.
Want To Win A Free Yoga Membership?
Yeo’s has tied up with Real Yoga for a Hydrate & Win promotion, where you can stand to win Real Yoga memberships. Simply follow the steps below:
Step 1: Purchase $5 in value of Yeo’s 100% Natural Coconut Water (any pack size) in a single receipt within promotion period.
Step 2: Go to Yeo’s Natural Facebook page and LIKE it.
Step 3: SMS to 9010 2322 in the following format:
YHS RealCoco Name NRIC No. Receipt No. Facebook ID
Example: YHS RealCoco Ben Ang S1234567A 8888 b3n.ang
Grand Prize: Real Yoga’s 6-month membership + Yoga Accessories (worth $1,170) x 1 winner
Consolation Prize: Real Yoga’s 1-month membership (worth $370) x 10 winners
About Real Yoga
Award-winning yoga studio Real Yoga provides a comprehensive holistic approach of work-life balance and the integration of body and mind. Located in the heartlands of Singapore – Centrepoint, Jurong Gateway, Tampines Grande and Toa Payoh, the studio offers over 40 different classes for you to choose from. As part of their 10-year anniversary this year, you can enjoy 10 free classes this October when you quote “RY10Anni”. Visit www.realyoga.com.sg
About Yeo’s 100% Natural Coconut Water
Made with 100 per cent coconut water, Yeo’s 100% Natural Coconut Water is a natural electrolyte drink which is perfect for combating dehydration on a humid day, replenish lost fluids after an intense workout or to detox at the end of a hectic day in the office. Not only does it keep your body hydrated, coconut water is packed with nutrients and vitamins, plus antioxidants to provide a refreshing
boost to your well-being. Available in 330 ml and 1 L tetrapaks, from leading supermarkets and selected convenience stores. Visit www.yeos.com.sg
Text: Katie Skelly/BauerSyndication.com.au / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok, Sean Tan / Photos: Pixabay, Pexels
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