Yoga is a truly amazing form of exercise, one that can improve your health in myriad ways.

In fact, you’ll find that it’s one of the safest and healthiest workouts around because of its gentle nature, smooth flow, and excellent long-term results.

If you’re looking for a truly amazing exercise that will push your muscles, limber up your joints, increase your mobility, enhance organ function, and boost your cognitive health, look no farther than Yoga.

Below, we’re going to answer the question, “How does Yoga improve health?” and look at all the ways you can have a better-functioning body simply by incorporating more Yoga into your life.

Get ready to have your mind blown!

How Does Yoga Improve Health?

1) Reduce injury risk. No form of exercise is 100% safe—any time you move, there’s a risk of injury, particularly for people who suffer from muscular imbalances or insufficiencies or are injury-prone. But Yoga is certainly one of the safest workouts around. It’s a slow-moving, flowing type of exercise that helps to strengthen your body with only minimal risk of hurting yourself. As long as you avoid the truly complex and challenging Yoga poses—like headstands—you can enjoy a safe workout that still delivers amazing results.

2) Boost brain health. Yoga does wonders for your brain in a number of ways. First off, it improves circulation to your head, especially when you do inverted poses (like Downward Dog). Second, it helps to clear your mind and eliminate the stress that can set your mind running at light speed and make you feel “foggy” mentally. It also helps to increase the production of feel-good endorphins and critical neurochemicals that regulate your mood. Plus, there’s the meditative and relaxation benefits of Yoga, which helps you to enter a mentally calm state.

3) Enhance breathing and increase oxygenation. Breath control and regulation is a central component of every Yoga workout. As you train, you focus on your breathing, on keeping everything moving in time with your inhalations and exhalations. Not only will this enhance your breathing overall, but it will help to increase oxygen intake into your bloodstream, which in turn fuels your muscles and organs.

4) Better mobility. People who spend a lot of time sitting down tend to get stiff and lose mobility, particularly in their upper legs, lower back, and hips. Yoga helps to counteract that problem by incorporating more mobility training into your day. You’ll actively work to strengthen, lengthen, and activate all the muscles in your core, hips, and pelvis, as well as your upper and lower body. As a result, you’ll have better mobility in every activity you do, and you’ll combat the decrease in mobility that so many people who lead sedentary lifestyles face.

5) Greater muscular endurance. Yoga doesn’t increase your raw muscular power, because it’s using only your bodyweight. However, it’s effective at building endurance, the ability to sustain muscle contractions for prolonged periods of time. This is because you’re holding a lot of static poses—for example, Downward Dog, Warrior Pose, or Crow Pose—that activate certain muscle groups. As a result of a regular Yoga practice, you’ll grow stronger and develop greater muscular endurance.

6) Improve quality of life. Because you’ll be more mobile and active, you’ll be significantly healthier and face a far lower disease risk overall. Yoga encourages better long-term cardiovascular health, and it can help to counteract problems like high blood sugar, obesity, hypertension, and stress-related health problems.

7) Less stress. Yoga is surprisingly relaxing! Even though you may be working hard and end the session sweating bullets, you’ll find that your mind is far calmer once the workout is done because of the breathing regulation, steady flow, and relaxing music. You can be far less anxious and stressful after each Yoga session, and you may find that this particular benefit translates into a calmer mind throughout the rest of your day as well.

8) Reduce inflammation. This is one of the best long-term benefits of Yoga, no doubt about it. Low-grade chronic inflammation contributes to a wide range of diseases—everything from heart disease to diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer. Yoga helps to reduce harmful inflammation by regulating your immune system, reducing the chance that your body will “overreact” to minute damage or immune attacks and trigger widespread inflammation.

9) Combat lower back pain. Lower back pain is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and disability, but you can give your back a truly effective—and mobility-boosting—workout thanks to Yoga. You’ll also stretch out the muscles and joints of your spine, enabling your body to move better and helping you feel stronger.

10) Become more “body aware”. Becoming aware of your body doesn’t just mean recognizing how you feel or knowing the signs of injury or sickness; it also has to do with greater spatial awareness, balance, and coordination. Becoming more “body aware” can give you a better understanding of—and, ultimately, better control of—every part of your body.