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Five benefits of yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical and meditation practice that's made its way into modern society as an incredibly beneficial fitness activity.

There are many different styles of yoga practices that all have their own benefits. No matter which one you choose, it can help improve not only physical health, but also mental health.

Middle aged woman holding a yoga position on an outdoor patio.

1. Improves mindfulness

Have you heard of the phrases "living in the moment" or "be more present"? That's mindfulness. Mindfulness is a cognitive skill that helps one be more aware of themselves and their surroundings.

Through breathing, poses and meditation, one can shift their focus from externals out of their control, to their body and mind.

2. Builds strength, balance, and flexibility

Some styles of yoga are more physical than others. Although many poses work multiple areas at a time, you can use different poses to target different areas of the body.

Some examples of poses that help build strength are plank, boat, downward and upward dog.

Tree, warrior sequences, side plank, and mountain poses focus on improving balance.

Happy baby, pigeon, low lunge, and cobra poses can help increase flexibility.

When building a personal routine, include a combination of poses or research different flow sequences that build strength, balance, and flexibility.

3. Manages stress

According to the National Institutes of Health, "research suggests that yoga may help improve general wellness by relieving stress, supporting good health habits, and improving mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance."

Think of yoga as a relaxation technique for both the mind and body. You can practice first thing in the morning to get your day started, while taking a break from a stressful situation, or to wind down from the day.

4. Helps with pain relief

From neck and lower-back pain to arthritis, headaches and fibromyalgia, yoga can help relieve chronic pain. Studies suggest that those who practice yoga showed improvement or relieved symptoms of their chronic pain.

5. Improves posture

The improved strength and flexibility gained from practicing yoga will also help improve posture.

Bringing awareness to your body and how it is positioned may help you recognize poor posture habits. You're likely to be more mindful of slumping or slouching and quickly correct yourself.

Incorporate yoga into your daily routine with Vitality®

The wellness program through Vitality is available with most plan designs through Allstate Benefits. With this unique program, paired with a group health plan, employees can get healthier, while enhancing and protecting their lives.

Vitality offers plan members a variety of resources and tools to help them stay physically active and reach their health goals.

Here are five tips from Vitality to help anyone work a yoga routine into their daily routine.

Reach out to your Allstate Benefits Group Health sales representative today.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop-loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states. National Health Insurance Company, Integon National Insurance Company, and Integon Indemnity Corporation are rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best.

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