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  • Abundant Joy's Team

The Benefits of Yoga pt. 3

7. Increases your Blood Flow

Yoga gets your blood flowing. The relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Downdog, Handstand and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated.

8. Drains your Lymphatic System and Boosts Immunity

When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy bad cells and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

9. Increases your Heart Rate

When you regularly get your heart rate into a higher range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga takes your heart rate higher, if you take Flow classes, it can boost your heart rate into that higher range. Yoga classes that don't get your heart rate up that high can still improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning. One study found that subjects who were taught breathing exercises only, could do more exercise with less oxygen.

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