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Yoga invokes many different images and feelings, from beautiful serene spaces and trendy athletic clothing to deep breathing and remarkable (and challenging) body positions. Yoga serves many different purposes, ranging from meditation and self-reflection to flexibility and fitness. Whether you are a novice or an expert, September is National Yoga Month and we’re encouraging you all to participate. In honor of the occasion, we want to highlight some key benefits to practicing the ancient physical art form.

Increased Flexibility and Strength. Regularly practicing yoga leads to increased flexibility and strength, which also alleviates pain. Tight muscles can contribute to the improper alignment of joints, which is often the reason for minor aches and discomfort that we experience on a regular basis. As flexibility improves, the gradual loosening of muscles allows joints to fall into their correct place, while simultaneously building strength. Practicing yoga on a regular basis leads to long, lean muscles.

Stress Relief and Improved Sleep. Yoga is not only beneficial to our physical health, but also helps to alleviate stress. The mindfulness from yoga and meditation has been scientifically proven to raise serotonin levels and lower cortisol levels, resulting in improved quality of sleep and a happier state of mind. Studies also show that yoga increases the production of melatonin in your body, helping you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and feel well-rested in the morning.

Healing Power. Yoga is also known for its natural healing powers. Yoga is helpful in fighting chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and arthritis. High blood pressure is a major contributor to heart conditions, but yoga can help lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk or progression of heart disease. Since yoga places a huge focus on deep, intentional breathing, those with mild to moderate asthma will likely see fewer symptoms over time. Lastly, for those suffering from arthritis, there is a specific form of yoga practice called Iyengar yoga that utilizes belts, blocks, and other positioning aids. Arthritis loves gentle movement and heat, both of which can be found in different forms of yoga.

Implement yoga into your routine this month with a full day of wellness at Glen Ivy Hot Springs. Enjoy a complimentary Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, or Yin Yoga class with admission! Check out our Activities Calendar for more details. Happy stretching!