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Yoga: Why Soldiers Should Be Doing It

Young man practicing yoga stance

Thomas EyeDesign/iStock

In this Article:

  • Benefits of yoga include strengthening muscles, improving lung function, and relieving stress.
  • Yoga can be done in a class or at home.
  • Doing yoga can also help you fight off depression, anger, and fear.

Heard about all the benefits of yoga, but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet? As a Soldier, yoga can help you reach your health and fitness goals—from relieving stress to increasing flexibility. It’s a great exercise to add to your workout routine. 

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is the practice of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. A mind-body discipline, yoga dates back thousands of years. You can practice yoga at a gym or studio, or try it at home with an online video or a yoga DVD. All you need is a mat and some space to do the exercises.

Physical Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is considered low-impact exercise. It helps widen range of motion and improve flexibility. Yoga also activates, sculpts, and strengthens muscles.

Yoga has been known to:

  • Lower cortisol (the hormone that controls body fat)
  • Lower your heart rate
  • Improve circulation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve lung function
  • Increase oxygen to the body
  • Ease back pain
  • Relax the body overall
  • Improve sex

Emotional Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is effective in helping Soldiers cope with emotional stress, too. Studies show yoga helps you:

Yoga can also help build strength and resilience. Mindful Yoga Therapy offers yoga therapy to Soldiers with:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress and other non-combat injuries

As always, talk to your Medical Readiness NCO or medical health professional before you start yoga to make sure it won’t affect any health conditions you may have. 

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