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How the practice of yoga reduces stress and leads to a happy and healthy heart

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Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of group exercise today. This should come as no surprise because of the many benefits that come from the practice of yoga. Everyone, both young and old, can take part in the exercise and reap from its benefits.

Yoga reduces stress

At some point, everyone experiences stress and anxiety. It could be caused from work that needs to be done at the office, rushing to get the kids to all of their activities on time, school, or just simply needing some time to cool down and relax from everyday life.

Yoga is a practice of meditation and relaxation that encourages you to stay in tune with your breathing. Once you learn to focus solely on the sound of your breath as you inhale and exhale, the stress and anxiety will be replaced with feelings of relaxation.

Yoga can lead to weight loss

According to Colette Bouchez with WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, yoga can help maintain weight and even lead to weight loss when practiced regularly. Many are under the impression that yoga is strictly for meditation and relaxing; however, there are many forms of yoga.

While yoga forms like Vinyasa and Restorative are for muscle relaxation and meditation, Power yoga combines strength training, meditative breathing, and stretching but instead of pausing between yoga moves as one would in a traditional yoga practice, every move flows directly into the next, making it a cardio workout and leading to weight loss.

Yoga leads to a happy, healthy heart

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body; throughout the day, it pumps and sends blood throughout your body, which provides your body with nutrients and oxygen that are needed for your survival; needless to say, your heart is your friend and it is important to treat it with care.

Yoga is great for the heart in numerous ways. Those who practice yoga regularly, at least once a week, are believed to have a healthier heart rate. When your heart rate is in the aerobic range, the risks of having a heart attack are lower. Be sure to take care of your heart because it is taking care of you.

These are just a few examples of the many benefits that come from yoga. Yoga can be practiced alone or with a group of friends, so grab a workout buddy this week and try out your local yoga center so you can enjoy these benefits and see what all of the “yoga” talk is about.

Bouchez, Colette. Yoga for Weight Loss? WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature. 2006 July: 1-2.

Photo: Getty Images/Lululemon.

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