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Yoga is a way to truly connect your mind, body and soul in a world that is becoming more disconnected than ever. Take a break from distractions of the world to connect with the world around you through the art of yoga.

This is one exercise that everyone can do, young or old– so gather your family together and practice some good old fashioned yoga. You may experience some of the following benefits:

1. Increased Strength, Flexibility and Balance

On a physical level, yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. Mindful and slow movements train the core (mid-section) and joints to remain stable and strong.

2. Alleviation From Depression

All exercise has been shown to help people with depression feel better, and yoga is no exception. In fact, a study from Duke University Medical Center suggested that yoga could benefit those living with depression, schizophrenia, other psychiatric conditions, and sleep problems.

Practicing in a group setting, such as a yoga class, stimulates the production of Oxytocin, the love and bonding hormone. Practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation also results in higher serotonin levels (the happiness hormone), and long-term practitioners have shown more mass in the areas of the brain associated with contentment. Literally, the practice of yoga makes you happy!

3. Back Pain Relief

Multiple studies have found yoga to be a more effective treatment for chronic back pain than usual care. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people living with chronic lower back pain reported better back function after a few months of practicing yoga. This may be due to stronger core muscles and increased flexibility.

4. Arthritis Relief

When it comes to the benefits of different types of yoga, a study indicated that Iyengar yoga, known for its use of props like belts, blocks, and other positioning aids, might help people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Other types of yoga might help arthritis symptoms, too. Arthritis loves gentle movement and heat, so styles like Bikram or gentle yoga can be very beneficial.

Yoga is a fantastic way to increase strength, flexibility  and endurance without high-impact exercise. What’s even better is being able to do it with a group or friends or by yourself depending on your schedule and how social you want to be!