September is National Yoga Awareness Month. 

Throughout September, yoga studios across the country will offer free classes and community events.

Health Benefits

Yoga comes from the Saskrit word “yuji”, meaning “union.”  It brings together mind and the body to let them function as one.

We know from health research that yoga:

  • Decreases stress and anxiety. Studies show that yoga decreases the secretion of cortisol, a dominant stress hormone.
  • Supports a healthy heart. Yoga helps lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke. 
  • Reduces inflammation. A 2014 meta-analysis concluded that yoga reduces inflammation based on the observation of blood-based inflammation markers.
  • Supports cancer patients. The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study showing that practicing yoga twice a week for 3-4 months lowers inflammation and improves mood for cancer patients. Learn how Integrative Therapies at the UVM Cancer Center provides cancer patients with a range of alternative and complementary therapies.
  • Supports COPD patient. Research done at the University of Vermont shows that yoga breathing provides relief to COPD patients. Read all about it. 

Physical Benefits

Yoga may not seem as rigorous or as intense as activities such as running, biking, or weight lifting, but it provides its own set of physical benefits.

  • By holding different positions and testing your strength, you’ll notice that you slowly build up muscle. This will improve performance in other sports.
  • It increases flexibility and stability — a good way to help prevent injuries in all facets of life.
  • It improves posture as it helps you straighten out muscles and joints.

Yoga is beneficial to everyone. So, whether you are training for a marathon or just want to try something new, it is never too late to practice. You can practice in the comfort of your own home, at a park, in the gym or even by a lake.  Make your practice your own!

This September, sign up for a free class and try something new. Or, try it with these videos featuring Lisa Emerson, RN, and Geri Ann Higgins, health coach.

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