Yoga has been around for 5,000 years, and these days it’s enjoyed a rapid surge in popularity. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of yoga practitioners in the U.S. grew from 9.5% to 14.3%. That’s probably because an increasing number of people are realizing that yoga isn’t just glorified stretching. And it’s not something exclusive to herbivore “hippie” types or hyperflexible skinny chicks. It’s also for — and even eagerly practiced by — Special Ops soldiers, NHL stars, and UFC fighters!
If you’re into weight-lifting, functional training, and “future-proofing” your body, yoga is also for you. Because chances are, your body lacks a kind of mobility, flexibility, and agility that no simple stretches or jogging routines can provide.
So yes, whatever your current workout routine, physique, and fitness goals are, you’re sure to benefit from a weekly yoga class or two. And as long as you have an internet connection, you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to practice. Because unlike many sports and other exercise activities, learning yoga exclusively from home is entirely possible. There’s little-to-no risk of injury involved, and the only equipment you need is a mat.
Need more convincing? Well, yoga can be fun! And of course, you reap many rewards. Here are just a handful…
#1. Reduced stress and anxiety
By lowering cortisol levels, yoga can help reduce stress. Even just three months of consistent practice can cause a permanent “significant decrease of perceived stress.” Practicing yoga is also associated with increased brain GABA levels, which can improve mood and decrease anxiety.
#2. Improved sexual function
A growing body of research suggests that yoga can support male sexual health. In fact, a 2010 study published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine says that yoga can significantly improve literally all domains of sexual function: desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, ejaculatory control, and orgasm. And all that was required among research participants was just 12 weeks of practice.
#3. Better overall health and quality of life
Yoga appears to be equally beneficial for both healthy and ailed individuals in terms of quality of life and general well-being. For example, among diseased populations, yoga has been shown to improve fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence in prostate cancer patients, and speed up recovery in stroke patients. And among healthy populations, yoga may can improve a variety of health-related outcomes — as well as or even better than strength exercises can!
Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.