Benefits of Yoga

Jun 3, 2020 | Jenni Ashford

Research by Roehampton University has shown that Les Mills BodyBalance reduces body fat, increases back strength, improves flexibility and eases anxiety. The Les Mills carefully curated workout is scientifically designed for proven results, however all forms of yoga offer a holistic workout with wide-ranging benefits from physical to psychological well-being.

Healthy mind

Yoga is shown to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.  As well as reducing emotional stress, it can also help with depression and anxiety.

Yoga promotes focused and centred breathing that can help with stress management and expanding the lungs.

Meditation through yoga calms the thoughts to focus on total relaxation.

Yoga promotes a feeling of harmony and serenity.

Yoga can improve sleep – the National Sleep Foundation advise that a daily yoga session helps those suffering from sleep issues such as insomnia fall asleep more easily, sleep longer, and return to sleep more quickly.


Healthy body

Yoga will benefit every type of person. Yoga is effective at improving performance for those already active such as runners, golfers, tennis and squash players, whilst for those with limited mobility or a lack of fitness, yoga will help ease them into being more active.

Yoga effects the body in the following ways:

Strengthens the entire body and increased muscular control. It focuses both on major muscle groups (core, arms, legs, back) as well as those smaller support muscles you didn’t know existed.

Helps keep you physically younger. As we age, muscles and joints are constricted through both lifestyle and the natural aging process of tissue fibre dehydration and loss of elasticity.  Stretching through yoga stimulates tissue lubricants to help muscles rebuild with healthy structures.

Improves functional core strength by engaging the core using core specific poses as well as the transitioning movements between poses.

Improves physical durability and reduces injury potential through passive and active stretching which  develops elasticity in the limbs, enabling muscles to bounce back, while also working on the ligaments and tendons to keep them supple.

Improves the posture – you will walk taller, strengthening and lengthening the spine and neck, tightening and stabilising the core.

Yoga supports the digestive system, reducing issues such as bloating,cramps and constipation, by increasing the blood flow around the digestive organs and massaging them internally, which stimulates an effective digestive process.

Lowers blood pressure and heart rate.

Improves mobility and range of movement by increasing flexibility of muscles and joints.

Improve hip mobility for increased agility and gait speed. Use yoga to counteract the shortening of hip muscles from being sat down for long periods of time, such as office work or watching tv. Supple hips are so important in reducing or preventing back pain, fluidity of movement and better circulation in the the legs.

Improves back issues by loosening tight muscles and increasing strength. Yoga conditions the muscles around the spine by toning the back and abdominal muscles supporting the joints.

A low impact way to help control weight. Les Mills research states, “Gradual, moderate reductions in weight and Body Mass Index were seen across the majority of interventions when practiced for 60 minutes, three times per week for three months or more.”

Help controls pain. Harvard University found yoga can help alleviate chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, migraine , lower back pain and fibromyalgia. They discovered that a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for those conditions.

Improves balance by building a stronger core to control movements.


Yoga at Exeter Golf and Country Club

Usually there are over 10 yoga classes a week at Exeter Golf and Country Club, with three yoga instructors.  Whilst the UK emerges out of lockdown, club members can now book for Conditioning Yoga with Howard Pike, on Mondays and Thursdays, with more sessions planned for future weeks. The yoga will take place, with five people only, on the outside terraces by the outdoor pool, until such a time when classes can return inside with larger numbers.

See Howard’s Yoga Class

Luckily for members of Exeter Golf and Country Club wishing to exercise at home, it is possible to access world-class yoga sessions at home via Les Mills On Demand. Choose from almost 100 yoga based workouts in the BodyBalance videos, accessible on a free trial or for just £7.99 a month for club members.

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