Want to talk about all the amazing and unexpected benefits of Yoga?

When you think of a Yoga session, you immediately know that you’ll walk away feeling relaxed, mentally restored, physically rejuvenated, and happier. These are the most common benefits of a Yoga workout—benefits that make it one of the most popular workouts around.

But what else can Yoga do for you beyond just the physical exertion and the mental boost?

That’s what we’re here to discuss!

We’ll look at all the unexpected benefits of Yoga and how it can improve your health—and life overall—in so many more ways than you might realize. 

Let’s dive in and take a closer look…

7 Unexpected Benefits of Yoga

1) Better circulation and blood oxygenation. When you do Yoga, you’re doing a low-intensity, steady state exercise that encourages better cardiovascular function. What this means is that your heart beats faster and works harder to deliver blood oxygenated by your lungs throughout your body. Your overall cardiovascular health improves because of the Yoga workout.

But that’s not all! You actually end up with more oxygen in your bloodstream because of the breathing techniques you learn through your Yoga workouts. Instead of the short, shallow breaths you take when stressed, you’re focusing on long, deep breaths that absorb a lot of oxygen—oxygen your organs, tissues, brain, and muscles need to function better.

2) Better stress management – One of the best unexpected benefits of Yoga include a better relationship with your mind. You learn how to tap into a relaxed mental state, to push aside the stressors of your day to focus on your Yoga poses and sequences. As a result, you grow more adept at clearing your mind and staying in the present.

This is a skill that serves you very well outside your Yoga workout, too. Because you’ve practiced clearing your mind of all stressful thoughts, you’ll find it’s much easier to do so all day long. You’ll manage your stress more efficiently because you will be more easily able to push aside the worries and stressors in your life.

3) Better pain management – Yoga is absolutely amazing for pain management! In fact, it’s not just useful for managing pain, but it can also help to prevent pain in the first place. You see, Yoga sequences encourage smoother transition between poses, which increases joint mobility and flexibility. It also improves your posture, reduces the strain on your spinal column, and enhances your movement overall. As a result, you’re less prone to developing back, shoulder, neck, hip, and knee pain.

And, because you’re spending time practicing Yoga regularly, you’re stretching out joint and muscle tissue that might otherwise grow stiff and inflexible. Yoga also floods your body with feel-good chemicals and endorphins that combat pain. It’s just a great way to reduce and manage pain!

4) Reduced injury risk –Think about it: when you’re aware of your body and your movements, thanks to your regular Yoga practice, you’re more likely to move in alignment with your joints and muscles. Your risk of injury—including dislocated joints, strained muscles and tendons, and sprained ligaments—is far lower because your body is trained to move more smoothly and work together.

5) Increased learning capacity – This is truly one of the most amazing unexpected benefits of Yoga! Yoga helps to clear your mind and banish worries, which leads to a calm, relaxed mental state where your mind is open to absorb new information or accessed previously stored information (memories). You’ll find it’s much easier to learn and recall information after a Yoga session because of the reduced stress and accelerated learning.

People who engage in meditation regularly have larger frontal cortexes. This part of your brain is associated with executive decision-making and working memory. Thanks to the meditative aspects of your Yoga workout, you can have a better head for information and learning.

6) Augmented personal development – Yoga is all about accepting yourself in your current capacity, as well as your limitations.  It helps you to work within your limitations while also pushing yourself to new and greater capacity.

Think about how that translates into literally every aspect of your personal development and growth! Sure, Yoga pays a lot of attention to your physical abilities—your movement, mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance—but also to your mental and spiritual capacities. Thanks to your daily Yoga workouts, you’ll see a great deal of growth in every part of your life.

7) Better sleep – That’s right, Yoga will help you sleep better! Not only will it tire out your body and burn through calories, but it will also calm your mind and help to banish the stressors of the day and the anxieties of tomorrow. Doing a relaxing Yoga workout at night can do wonders to help you fall asleep more quickly and put your mind at ease when it comes time to go to bed.