When’s the last time you recharged your batteries? Yoga is an ancient practice, now offered at our parks, that helps you focus your body and mind. It has stood the test of time for a reason. Here’s a list of seven benefits of yoga:

1. Helps you focus

One important concept used in yoga is being in the moment or being “present”. Focusing on the what’s right in front of you can improve coordination, reaction time and memory recall. A quick 30 minute morning yoga session can improve your productivity during your work day.

2. Increases happiness

“Lotus” is a sitting position in yoga that improves posture and calms your breathing. One study found that consistently practicing yoga reduced feelings of depression and led to an increase in serotonin levels, the natural “happy” chemical in the brain.

3. Improves flexibility

Exercises like running and biking are repetitive and neglect many of your body’s muscles. A single yoga session stretches and strengthens muscles in the entire body. With regular practice, yoga can help loosen muscles and relieve back and joint pain.

A yoga class at Island Lake Conservation Area
A yoga class at Island Lake Conservation Area

4. Improves sleep

The amount of time we spend looking at screens can impact our ability to unwind before bedtime. Yoga is a device-free activity, which is great for giving your eyes a break. The breathing techniques used in yoga lower your heart rate and can make falling asleep easier.

5. Burns calories

Even though yoga isn’t a fast-paced exercise, it can be an excellent workout. The “high lung” pose is an great move for burning calories and increasing your heart rate. Every muscle from your calves to  biceps are engaged and will strengthen over time with regular practice.

6. Increases self-esteem

The calm reflection that a yoga session brings can improve self-esteem. This quiet time is an opportunity to speak positively and remind yourself how important you are. This is easy to forget in our busy day-to-day lives.

7. Make the most of your time

The demands of life can make finding time to spend with  loved ones difficult. The great thing about a yoga class in the park is that anyone can participate. You can feel good knowing that you’re turning exercise time into quality time with the ones you care about.

Interested in signing up for a yoga session in the park? Check out our wellness program events page for more details.

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