3. Increases Blood Flow
Much like any other form of exercise, yoga can help to increase blood flow to areas like the hands and feet. Increased blood flow means more oxygenated cells. The variety of inverted (poses in which the legs are above the head, like the one pictured) poses are thought to help bring blood back to the heart, oxygenating it more efficiently. This is perfect for those with swelling in the legs or heart problems. Yoga even helps to thin the blood of clot-promoting proteins (Yoga Point) which can result in a decreased risk of heart attacks. As always, consult your doctor if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure before beginning any workout program.
4. Improves Mood
Studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can go as far as improving (or preventing) the symptoms of depression. Yoga is said to increase serotonin levels while decreasing cortisol and monoamine oxidase. Studies from the University of Michigan have stated that meditation and yoga can increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which helps to improve mood and overall immune function (CBS News). The activity only increased with a long term yoga practice.
Image from Anam Yoga.