Discover how yoga can help improve your body’s movement.

Yoga enhances circulation of the blood and lymphatic systems and improves muscular elasticity and strength. It makes the spine suppler and releases muscular tension. Studies also show that regularly striking poses like warrior, cobra and half-moon helps people enjoy an impressive roll-call of health benefits. They include:

Reduced inflammation: Many people say that when they leave a yoga session they feel so relaxed it’s like floating on air. That relaxation response helps yoga reduce cytokines, chemicals that cause inflammation and have been linked to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Research at the University of California also shows that just 12 minutes of yogic meditation (particularly if it includes chanting) reduces biological stress responses that trigger inflammation in the body and brain. So the meditation time in yoga may help you live longer and in better health.

Fewer bladder bothers: Regularly engaging in yoga postures helps strengthen the pelvic floor so that women have fewer problems with leakage or having to rush to the loo to wee, particularly after having children or menopause.

Heart benefits: Practising yoga flows regularly may help reduce the risk of heart disease as much as cycling and brisk walking, shows research from the European Society of Cardiology. Heart-rate variability, which is the sign of a healthy heart, is also higher in yoga devotees. Another bonus is that yoga also helps lower blood pressure according to the American Society of Hypertension. That then reduces the risk of stroke.

Pain reduction: Sore back or neck? Forget begging your partner for a massage. Yoga will help iron out the kinks and reduce pain, shows research from the Group Health Research Institute in the US and the Charité-University Berlin. It can also provide relief from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis, show numerous studies.

Thinking about trying yoga? Learn how to choose the right yoga style for you.