According to a study by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, the number of people doing yoga over the last several years has increased from over 20 million to 36 million. While yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, it’s not just a passing fad, as it’s been around for centuries and originally was founded in India. Therefore, in honor of National Yoga Awareness Month, here are five ways a consistent yoga practice can transform your mind, body and life.

1. Increases flexibility, strength, cardiovascular health and balance: Yoga allows you to stretch your body into various poses that challenge your flexibility. Holding the poses creates strength and balance. Flowing from one pose to another provides cardiovascular activity, which is good for the heart.

2. Decreases stress and anxiety: Yoga incorporates meditation and a core focus on the breath, which can help you relax and center your mind to reduce anxiety. It also can help the body release the hormone cortisol, to reduce stress and neurotransmitters known as endorphins, to lift your mood.

3. Could improve sleep: Since yoga works the body and calms the mind, it can help promote healthy sleep because not only will you be physically tired, you may be able to work through and release worries that may keep you up at night. Yoga might even help you problem solve and think of creative solutions to issues you might be facing, which will in turn, provide you with a better night of sleep.

4. Creates a mind-body connection for optimal mental, physical and emotional health: When you’re able to connect your movements in your body with self-awareness in your mind, it can create confidence and a holistic impact on your mental, physical and emotional health. This powerful combination can translate to success in both your personal and professional life.

5. May reduce inflammation and chronic pain: The more you practice yoga, the stronger, more flexible and more functional your body becomes. This combination of high quality movement and consistent breathing can get rid of toxins to reduce inflammation and chronic pain throughout the body.

Yoga poses: Feel free to check out this Passion Fit yoga video that you can do with your children or other members of your family. In this video, the following traditional yoga poses below are covered and can be done anytime and anywhere to infuse this mind-body practice into your daily life!

1. Mountain pose

2. Chair pose

3. Tree pose

4. Warrior I, II and III pose

5. Plank pose

6. Pigeon pose

7. Downward dog pose

8. Child’s pose


  • Reena Vokoun

    Entrepreneur | TEDx Speaker | Author | Media Spokesperson | Health & Wellness Expert | Content Creator & Marketer | Personal & Professional Development Coach | Activewear Designer

    Reena Vokoun graduated with a BBA in marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in advertising and communications from Boston University. She spent several years in corporate America working in marketing, sales and business development roles for companies such as Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET, GE and Grokker, while also being certified in health, fitness, nutrition and behavior change through the American Council on Exercise, Athletics and Fitness Association of America and IDEA Fitness. Her experiences and witnessing others during those years, showed her how much overwork, stress and a lack of work-life balance can impact your health and life. Therefore, she's passionate about educating others and helping them take control of their lives in these areas. Today, she serves companies, nonprofits, universities, schools and the media through her products, services and content, which focus on wellness education and training in the areas of fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, work-life balance, productivity and healthy lifestyles. She's featured regularly as a health contributor on the Fox KTVU news morning show in the San Francisco Bay Area, writes a monthly health column for the Los Altos Town Crier and also writes for Thrive Global, Shape and Working Mother. She's a mom, wife and first generation born Indian-American and has a unique perspective to help others balance it all.