A disease-free body, a violence-free society, a confusion-free mind, an inhibition-free intellect, a trauma-free memory, a sorrow-free soul and a quiver-free breath is the impact that yoga can make in your life

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yoga is not just an exercise. Yoga is the science of well-being. The Sanskrit word yoga means union. Yoga signifies the union of body, mind and soul. Though yoga took birth in India, it doesn’t interfere with any religion and faith across the world.

Benefits of yoga realized by all

From ancient to modern times, yoga has come a long way and is today popular worldwide as people have realized the manifold benefits of Yoga during these stressful times. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave a clarion call in 2011 to have a World Yoga Day declared to raise awareness of keeping mind and body fit through yoga. The UN declared June 21 with an overwhelming majority in December 2014.

Yoga poses (yoga asanas), yogic breathing techniques (pranayamas), and meditation promote success in every sphere of life. Let’s explore the top 10 benefits of yoga in life!

1. Yoga Improves physical health

a. Yoga improves flexibility

Physical flexibility reduces due to stress, aging, a sedentary lifestyle, or incorrect postures and movement habits. Yoga asanas improve joint and muscle mobility to make you more flexible. Improve the flexibility of your neck, shoulders, core, back and hips with yoga.

Flexibility is a part of yoga. The body becomes flexible, and the mind grows in faith and conviction. If all this happens, know that it is a gift of yoga and consider yourself a Yogi.

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

b. Yoga Builds strength

Yoga also makes your body stronger. It strengthens your core and skeletal muscles. Core stability improves spine health and balances the distribution of force. Stronger skeletal muscles support your body weight and movement

c. Yoga corrects posture

Postures often deteriorate due to

  • Wrong movement habits
  • Lack of physical activities
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Normal aging process

Yoga strengthens weaker muscles, improves muscular imbalances and lengthens contracted muscles to correct your posture and alignment. Correct posture allows the vital energy (prana) to flow more efficiently in your body. You feel more energetic.

d. Yoga helps in managing weight

More active forms of yoga, like Surya Namaskar, helps you lose weight. Obesity is a catalyst to lifestyle diseases. Burn calories with yoga and increase your awareness at various levels.

  • Promote healthy eating with yoga
  • Develop self-control with yoga and stop binge eating
  • Expand your alertness with yoga and stop eating when your stomach feels full

e. Helps combat lifestyle diseases

Holistically manage lifestyle diseases with yoga. Manage many issues, like

Boost your immunity and improve your blood circulation with yoga. Gift yourself a disease-free body.

2. Yoga helps in managing stress

a. Yoga helps in quick stress relief

The purpose of yoga is to put a smile on your face, notwithstanding the stresses and tensions that you go through in your daily life.

Stress triggers anxiety, nervous breakdown and depression, which can lead to antisocial and violent behavioral disorders. Studies* prove that yoga helps manage the psychological aspects of stress.

Yoga lowers the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. Yoga increases the levels of mood-boosting endorphin hormone. The latter enables you to manage stress more efficiently. 

*Sri Sri Institute of Advanced Research

b. Improves mental health

Yoga enhances resilience and overall mental health. It increases feel-good chemicals in the brain, like endorphins and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Yoga also promotes healthy eating, deep sleep and lifestyle habits. It improves your mood. 

c. Complements in addiction recovery

Reports prove that yoga complements addiction recovery programs for tobacco, alcohol and narcotics.

Yoga helps addicts to

  • Be in the present moment
  • Face their emotions and feelings
  • Hold patience
  • Increase resilience
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Accept discomfort

Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

3. Yoga helps students

a. Yoga gives mental clarity

The practice of yoga has been known for centuries to produce benefits in the area of mental clarity. Yoga brings clarity to the mind and removes confusion.

A confusion-free mind can help students in 

  • Decision-making
  • Task management
  • Stress relief

b. Yoga keeps you calm

Joy is deep within us. Keeping the mind like a clear mirror, unfazed by impermanent events, is yoga.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yoga poses, deep breathing and meditation calm the chattering mind. Students especially in their teens have many thoughts running through their minds due to hormonal changes.

Tips to get rid of unwanted thoughts

Yoga helps youb become conscious and manage your thoughts

  • Live in the present moment
  • Learn to let go

4. Yoga boosts intellect

An inhibition-free mind can be one of the major impacts of yoga in our lives. Intellect helps you to reach correct conclusions. Yoga boosts your intellect. Higher intellectual ability improves your

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to distinguish between true and false

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5. Yoga facilitates trauma-free memory

While traumatic experiences may give rise to sleep disorders, it is important to manage the lack of sleep to treat trauma. Adequate sleep reduces the intensity of traumatic experiences, making them less distressing.

a. Yoga improves sleep quality

improve the quality of sleep. Yoga helps

  • Increase the levels of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin
  • Reduce sleep disturbance
  • Lower the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder

b. Yoga increases energy level 

Frequent traumatic events compromise energy levels. Yoga boosts your energy level by increasing oxygen in your body. It offers deep relaxation to recharge your energy level. Higher levels of energy speed up the trauma healing process.

6. Yoga enhances breathing

Yoga improves your breathing and supports your overall well-being. Sudarshan Kriya and breathing practices like pranayama increase your

  • Lung capacity
  • Breath holding time
  • Maximum voluntary ventilation

7. Yoga fosters creativity

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “The more we relax into ourselves, we bring out creativity and happiness.”

Pranayama and meditation, also known as Dhyana Yoga bring that relaxation that can help manifest our creativity.

Yogic breathing techniques help build awareness about our own creativity. Benefits of yoga and meditation for creativity include

  • Higher brain effectiveness
  • Faster information processing
  • Sharper focus
  • Higher energy levels
  • Improved intuition

8. Yoga develops intuition

What do meditation and spiritual practices do? They bring out the 4 ‘I’s in us: Innovation, Intuition, Inspiration and Intelligence.

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yoga strengthens your intuitive abilities or the sixth sense. People with higher intuition take chances against all odds to become successful. Stronger intuition helps you make the right decisions at the right time.

9. Yoga promotes natural healing

Yoga is an alternative therapy to heal and balance the body naturally. The majority of illnesses are stress related. Yoga de-stresses the mind to strengthen the natural healing process of the body.

10. Yoga encourages self-care

Self-care is to take care of yourself. Self-care activities, like yoga,

  • improves your overall health
  • grows your abilities to face life’s challenges
  • helps you deliver your duties more efficiently

It also helps you prevent:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Apathy
  • Burnout

Wow! Did you know that there are so many benefits of yoga? Find out more in our latest yoga programs. 

Find a Sri Sri Yoga program at an Art of Living center near you.

FAQ’s on Benefits of Yoga

10 health benefits of yoga asanas: Holistic well-being Flexibility and posture improve. Manages weight without being stressed about it. Manage stress with ease. Calms the mind. Boosts immunity. Boosts energy. Immunity improves. Greater awareness. Strengthens relationship.
Importance of yoga in daily life – Daily stress, negative thoughts, emotions and feelings are all washed off with the practice of yoga. Yoga is multifaceted and practiced by people from all disciplines of life.
Ayurveda recommends to do yoga for good health the first thing in the early morning. But in the modern times, people with time constraint should do yoga at least once a day morning or evening. Can do in the afternoon on a light or empty stomach. To do yoga is more important than not at all.
Yes, routinely practicing yoga helps to reduce belly fat. Practice those asanas which have greater impact on the belly and you have positive result.
Yes, yoga is recommended to practice on light or empty stomach. 1-2 hours after light meal or 4 hours after heavy meal will benefit of doing yoga.
Persistently practicing yoga for a week is enough for many people to experience the physical and mental benefits for yoga. Yoga when done regularly under the guidance of yoga teacher for 6-8 weeks is good for anyone to feel its powerful positive effects.