Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. What makes it still so popular today? The range of benefits that come from yoga are so vast that practically anyone can benefit.

Back Pain Treatment

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, though similar levels of pain, after a few months of practicing yoga.

Stress Management

Yoga is often recommended to patients who suffer from stress. The combination of tensing and relaxing muscles during yoga—along with mindful awareness of physical sensations—helps the body  relax. The practice of yoga also reduces cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Yoga is proven to help you sleep better, which also aides stress management.

Bone Health

It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps to keep osteoporosis at bay. Many postures and poses in yoga require that you lift your own body weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. By participating in yoga consistently, your bones will stay strong and healthy.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Practicing yoga helps to lower your blood sugar levels. It boosts HDL, the “good” cholesterol while lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin.

Next time a friend asks you to join their yoga class, keep all of these amazing benefits in mind Not only does yoga help lower your stress levels, it helps with back pain, bone health and blood sugar.