Three Health Benefits Of Practicing Yoga

Posted on: 29 February 2016

If you're tired from the daily grind and are looking for a way to relax and feel restored, practicing yoga can be the answer. And one of the best ways to enjoy this ancient activity is to do so on a yoga retreat vacation. Whether you visit the center for a single day or you've booked a stay for a series of days, you'll enjoy being in a tranquil setting as you perform these healthy exercises. Yoga is often associated with helping you relax -- and a single class can easily help your stress melt away. However, you might be pleased to know that you'll also get a number of physical health benefits from yoga. Here are three.

Calories Burned

Yoga isn't often associated with providing a high caloric burn in the same way as up-tempo cardiovascular activities such as running or bicycling. Still, an hour-long class can help you burn a surprising number of calories. The rate that you burn calories performing yoga depends, in part, on the type of yoga you're practicing. In a 60-minute Hatha yoga class, someone who weighs 155 pounds will burn about 298 calories. If the same person practices the more vigorous Ashtanga yoga for the same length of time, he or she will burn about 362 calories. The calories you burn in yoga might not be enough to lead to dramatic weight loss, but this exercise can serve as a valuable way to maintain your weight.

Improved Flexibility

When you aren't active, your muscles will become stiff. Their lack of flexibility can mean that you're more likely to get an injury than someone whose muscles are limber. Yoga is an ideal exercise to become the latter type of person. The slow, gentle stretches that you'll practice in a yoga class will help to stretch out your stiff muscle fibers and improve your range of motion. If you find that you're stiff in the morning, for example, regular dedication to yoga can reduce this feeling.

Better Posture

If you sit all day at work, you might be using poor posture. This can have repercussions on the health of your back. Yoga is an effective way to strengthen the muscles that support proper posture. Many yoga poses will build the strength of the muscles in your back and core. These postural muscles make it easier to sit and stand in an upright manner to keep your spine in proper alignment and prevent back pain.