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Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health


Grab a mat: The many benefits of yoga

What do a cow, a warrior, and a tree have in common? They're all poses in yoga, a wellness exercise that research has shown can reduce stress and increase flexibility and muscle tone.

Many people practice yoga to ease feelings of anxiety, like worry or fear. Yoga’s combination of physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation may help quiet the mind as the body builds strength. Research studies suggest that yoga may also improve sleep, reduce some chronic pain, and help people lose weight.

September is National Yoga Awareness Month. So, if you've been waiting to try it, now’s the time! There are different styles of yoga for any fitness level.

About 1 in 7 U.S. adults practiced yoga in the past 12 months. 82% of U.S. adults who practiced yoga said it improved their overall health and made them feel better. 63% of U.S. adults said yoga motivated them to exercise more regularly. 59% of U.S. adults who practiced yoga said it improved sleep.

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