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Why Should Yoga Be Part of Your Fitness Routine? Important Benefits You Need to Know

A young woman participating in one of the Westwood yoga classes

The centuries-old practice of yoga is still one of the best ways to improve your health. Yoga runs the gambit of styles. Some styles are intense and extremely challenging; others are meditative and relaxing. Are you looking for a Westwood yoga class to diversify your fitness routine in one of these ways? What style do you most desire? Have you always wondered what health benefits yoga could add to your routine? Look no further than our Westwood yoga classes to help find the perfect fit for you. With our diverse offerings, there is something for everyone – literally. 

As you consider if yoga is the right addition to your routine, let’s look at a few benefits you shouldn’t miss out on:



A major principle of yoga is the promotion of relaxation which, in turn, reduces stress. Our adrenal glands are stress response glands. They secrete cortisol to prepare our bodies to handle stress, but too much of this hormone can have negative health effects. Yoga has been shown to lower cortisol and reduce the body’s stress level. Harvard Health has also indicated that yoga elevates levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which improves people’s moods and calms their anxiety. 

Even more simply, yoga poses help ease knots in participants’ muscles which releases negative emotions and tension. The process releases mood-boosting endorphins that increase positivity and help people handle stress. If relief of stress is a goal of yours, some types of yoga we offer at Woodside that you might consider are Restorative, Yin or Kemetic Yoga.



Since you hold poses in yoga, it is known for developing stronger, more toned muscles while also increasing your balance. You learn to engage more muscles and increase your strength. Yoga improves your core strength through building core muscle groups, such as your abdomen, diaphragm, back and pelvic muscle groups. Yoga concentrates on proper breathing techniques that assist in lowering blood pressure and reducing stress while engaging the core muscles.

This regular engagement of the muscles adds to overall body strength. When looking for the right challenge for you at your Westwood yoga class, you might consider Power Vinyasa which is a great challenge even for athletes. You can find this and more offered at Woodside. 



Increased flexibility may be the most recognized benefit to regular yoga participation. Poor flexibility adds to mobility issues and joint injuries, so this may be one of the most important overall benefits to you in adding yoga to your routine. When your muscles are tight, you have limited range of motion, and often your spine is out of alignment which can lead to nerve issues. Some of these problems can lead to early joint degeneration. 

Yoga can help you improve your posture and align your spine to decrease your chances of some of these major issues. It helps you keep posture at the forefront of your mind throughout the day, too, because you have mindfully focused on your body during the practice of yoga. 

A woman sitting cross legged and rolling up her yoga mat


The focus on your spine and posture improves spinal health and can be a major beginning to decrease back pain. Nerve endings in your back are called proprioceptors, and they are stimulated by movement. Quite remarkably, these nerve endings have the ability to override pain. The more you move, the more they are stimulated to help with the pain you may be feeling. The stretching and posing involved in yoga moves the entire spine stimulating numerous proprioceptors to alleviate your back pain. 

In addition, the movement of the disks in your back helps nutrients make their way between the vertebrae to prevent herniated disks. At Woodside you can even follow your challenging yoga class with time in the sauna or spa pools for additional relaxation and pain alleviation.



Many people suffer from sleep issues due to tension and anxiety. Unfortunately the stress of life often gets in the way of our rest. If getting adequate sleep is an issue for you, that alone may be reason enough to take up yoga on a regular basis. A study from Harvard Medical School found that regular yoga practice improved sleep efficiency and increased sleep time and how quickly participants who suffered with insomnia fell asleep. Roughly 1 in 3 adults suffer with symptoms of insomnia, so the need to improve sleep is critical. 

Yoga also increases melatonin levels in the body which helps bring on sleep more easily. In addition, the breathing techniques practiced slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure and deepen relaxation. All of these benefits make it easier to fall and stay asleep. 



The reason yoga has become so popular with many who either add it to their weekly routine or even utilize it as their only health routine is because of the tremendous benefits it offers. Initially many people assume it is an easy activity but soon discover the challenges it can present and how those challenges add to the benefits discovered for mind and body. 

Westwood yoga classes are waiting for you! At Woodside there are diverse days,times and class options for you to choose from to begin your yoga journey, with over 30 classes offered each week at a variety of levels to meet the beginner to advanced individual’s desire. You can be assured you are being led by the best. Our accredited fitness instructors are required to reach a minimum of 300 hours (RYT) with Yoga Alliance and have a minimum of two years teaching experience before they are ready to lead you to a new and healthier you! 

Woodside has a full range of opportunities to expand your health journey. If you would like to schedule a tour at Woodside to discover the numerous benefits of our yoga classes and other opportunities we have just waiting for you, click here.

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