Yoga is, of course, for everyone, and there aren’t any limits on who can practice. But, if you belong to one of these five groups (or you know someone who does), yoga comes with a number of benefits that can help you specifically.
1. Chronically Stressed People
People who are chronically stressed, for any reason, can benefit greatly from the slower pace of a gentle yoga class.
The final resting pose, savasana, is particularly helpful for people who are always on the go and have a hard time shutting off their brains. The irony, of course, is that the people who need savasana the most are usually the ones who skip it.
If you do sign up for a yoga class, make sure you stick it out all the way until the end so that you reap all of its the stress-reducing benefits.
2. People with Joint Injuries
If you’re dealing with an injury to the knee, ankle, or another joint, yoga is a great, low-impact way to stay active.
Yoga can help you strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones while improving balance and coordination. This can aid in the recovery process while also helping you avoid future injuries once you’re back on your feet.
Yoga can also benefit people with arthritis and those who suffer from chronic joint pain.
If you need extra support during your yoga class, don’t hesitate to use props like blocks or straps. You should also wear knee sleeves or an ankle brace if you have an injury to help keep your joints stable.
Some recent research suggests that yoga can help people with type 2 diabetes control their condition.
There are several reasons for this. First, as mentioned above, yoga is great for stress management. Stress can cause the blood sugar to elevate, which, in turn, causes complications for type 2 diabetics.
Yoga can also help type 2 diabetics (and others) manage their weight. By keeping their weight under control, they can reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.
4. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Yoga provides tons of benefits to people who struggle with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD comprises a group of brain development disorders that are characterized by varying levels of repetitive behaviors, difficulties in social interaction, communication (both nonverbal and verbal).
First, there are the physical benefits. People with ASD often struggle with motor coordination and body awareness. Yoga teaches strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, and, since it’s a low-impact form of exercise, it’s a safe option to help people with ASD improve their connection to their bodies.
Yoga also provides emotional benefits. It’s been shown repeatedly to be great for helping people reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. People with ASD can use breathing exercises and yoga poses to help them relax and manage difficult emotions.
Finally, yoga offers immune boosting benefits, which is good for people with ASD, who frequently suffer from autoimmune disorders and general immune dysfunction.
In schools today, children are bombarded with distractions, peer pressure, and overstimulation. Yoga is a great, low-cost physical activity that can help children cope with these issues and learn to manage their emotions while also encouraging them to get active.
Some of the specific benefits of yoga for children include:
- Increased body awareness
- Healthy stress management
- Improved concentration
- Improved self-confidence and self-image
- Healthy, non-competitive physical activity
- Break from electronic devices
Parents and teachers alike can encourage children to practice yoga. Teachers can incorporate yoga into the classroom by giving their students short yoga breaks before tests or after lunch. For parents, simply practicing yoga yourself is a great way to get kids interested.
Both parents and teachers can also teach breathing exercises and yoga poses to help children manage emotions and cope with stressful situations.
Just about everyone can benefit from a regular yoga practice. For people in these five groups, though, it is especially helpful.
Sign up for a yoga class near you today, or search for a free one online and practice at home. Look for beginner-friendly classes, which are usually shorter and feature simple poses, to help you ease into the practice.