In his book, Yoga as Medicine, Dr. Timothy McCall lists and explains the following benefits of yoga:

1. Increases Flexibility

2. Strengthens Muscles

3. Improves Balance

4. Improves Immune Function

5. Improves Lung Function

6. Improves Posture

7. Leads to Slower and Deeper Breathing

8. Discourages Mouth Breathing

9. Increases Oxygenation of Tissues

10. Improves Joint Health

11. Nourishes Inter-vertebral Disks

12. Improves Return of Venous Blood

13. Increases Circulation of Lymph

14. Improves Function of the Heart

15. Improves Proprioception (ability to feel where your body is in space)

16. Increases Control of Bodily Functions

17. Strengthens Bones

18. Conditions the Cardiovascular System

19. Promotes Weight Loss

20. Relaxes the Nervous System

21. Improves the Function of the Nervous System

22. Improves Brain Function

23. Activates the Left Prefrontal Cortex

24. Changes Neurotransmitter Levels

25. Lowers Levels of the Stress Hormone Cortisol

26. Lowers Blood Sugar

27. Lowers Blood Pressure

28. Improves Levels of Cholesterol and Triglycerine

29. Thins the Blood

30. Improves Bowel Function

31. Releases Unconscious Muscular Gripping

32. Uses Imagery to Effect Change in the Body

33. Relieves Pain

34. Lowers Need for Medication

35. Fosters Healing Relationships

36. Improves Psychological Health

37. Leads to Healthier Habits

38. Fosters Spiritual Growth

39. Elicits the Placebo Effect

40. Encourages Involvement in Your Own Healing

Number 40 is my favorite.

Check out Tim McCall’s page for more information: