Welcome first time guest author, Jenna Toppin, as she addresses some lesser known health benefits of yoga in this week's installment of Yoga Living Project. Yoga can provide both your mind and body with a number of health benefits, but some may come as a surprise to you. Explore these four unique yoga advantages and let us know what you think.  If you'd like to contribute content, email Austin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Most yogis practice this calming form of exercise to help clear their mind and work out different muscles in their body. Yoga is best known for increasing your flexibility, stretching and strengthening muscles, practicing mindfulness, and learning how to incorporate various levels of breathing.

Since many people use yoga as their routine exercise, more and more of them are discovering additional advantages for their health and lifestyle. Explore these surprising benefits that yoga has proved to be a substantial component of.


Improves Your Immune System

When you’re sick, the last thing you might be thinking of is getting in a quick workout. How about an easy, gentle workout that can actually boost your immune system and help you recover from your drowsy day?

Yoga works on the body as a whole-- as each movement in yoga helps to reduce stress, they also help accommodate the immune system while conditioning the lungs, removing toxins, and delivering oxygen to various organs throughout the body. Each unique pose in yoga can help this process and allow you to build a stronger, more resistant immune system.

Some yoga poses that can benefit certain aspects of your illness are:

  • Tortoise pose supports your lymph nodes
  • Downward-Facing Dog helps blood flow to your sinuses
  • Camel pose, Cow Face pose, and Child’s pose help with congestion
  • Easy pose has the potential to help reduce a fever temperature


Benefits Your Smile

Another incredible benefit that many people are unaware of in relation to yoga is that it can improve your oral health. Most people are aware that yoga helps reduce stress, which is known to significantly affect our mood, general health, and sleep. Unfortunately, the strain can also negatively impact your dental health and beauty of your smile.

Stress can lead to a variety of dental problems such as TMJ disorder, worn down enamel from teeth grinding, and gum disease. Many practices of yoga can help you relieve your stress and reduce the risk of these oral problems. Along with practicing yoga, holistic dentist Dr. Rebecca Steinbach can also suggest various natural remedies to help enhance the health and appearance of your smile.


Manage Your Cravings

How often do you have a craving for a big, juicy hamburger or a sweet, creamy ice cream cone? Oftentimes, these desirable foods taste so good that it’s hard to stop eating them, and before you know it, you’re stuffed and can’t move. Finding ways to control these cravings can help you live a healthier life with a more balanced diet that doesn’t include overindulging.

In a study done by researchers from the University of Washington, they discovered that “mindful eating” was more likely in participants who practiced yoga. This means that those who did yoga as their daily exercise, rather than walking or other physical activity, were able to connect and control their physical and emotional sensations with eating.

When practicing yoga, you become more aware of your emotions, and this can help hinder your food cravings. As you breathe slowly and begin to reflect on your decisions, you’ll notice yourself making better choices the next time your certain hunger hits.

Boosts Fertility

Conceiving a child doesn’t always come easy for some couples. Infertility is very common and affects about ten in 100 women in America. This is devastating for many couples, but luckily, there are a number of ways for both men and women to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

One natural remedy to help boost your fertility is by practicing yoga. Although there are few studies, yoga has been found to provide some benefits when trying to conceive. It helps the mother relax, de-stress, and open up energetic channels that all contribute to a higher chance of pregnancy.

Other ways to increase your chances of having a baby:

  • Match up the timing with your cycle
  • Avoid certain lubricants and try Pre-Seed, mineral or canola oil
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising regularly
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol consumption


Are You Ready to Experience These Yoga Benefits?

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, these unique health benefits of yoga will be sure to help anyone live a better life. Step into the studio or lay out your mat in the comfort of your own home the next time you feel a cold coming or have a sweet tooth craving. As you continue to practice this simple meditation, you’ll notice a complete improvement in your overall mental and physical health.

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