Yoga has been proven to have may benefits. Although I myself do not practice it, (but I do use some moves for mobility.) I definitely see its usefulness in a good training program in order to stay balanced and mobile. My Friend Rachel wrote today’s post on just 5 of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. Read on to find out what they are and how you can apply them. (Plus she has a cute dog!)


The Ranter


Are you new to yoga? Not sure where to start? Or maybe you tried it and didn’t love it? Not sure whether you should try it again? Keep reading you may decide to give it a chance! These just a few of the many physical and psychological benefits of a weekly yoga practice.

1.Improves flexibility: While it may be slightly uncomfortable to the body and the ego at first, over time yoga can lengthen muscles and improve mobility. Added bonus- this gradual process can actually help alleviate joint pain associated with muscle tightness!

2.Strengthens from the inside out: Using your own body weight and sustained postures, yoga can strengthen both bones and muscles. Yogic breathing (pranayama) also encourages core muscle engagement as you practice which in turn helps develop stability and provide increased control in all your workouts.


3.Maintains spine health: In contrast to the daily grind of sitting and slumping, yoga trains the spine into correct posture by helping strengthen muscles around the spine and shoulders. A complete yoga class will move your spine in all six directions on the three planes of motion: laterally right and left, spiraling right and left, extension and flexion. This helps improve mobility while nurturing the discs that cushion your vertebrae.

4. Increases lung function and capacity: Pranayama (yogic breathing) throughout asana (pose) might be the most beneficial aspect of consistent practice. According to a study referenced in Timothy McCall’s article on, a group of people with lung issues due to congestive heart failure were able to breaths per minute decreased from 13.4 to 7.6 after a month of daily breathing practice. An increase in exercise capacity and oxygen saturation in the lungs were also reported.


5.Reduces stress and anxiety: Yoga helps calm the chatter in the mind. Whether flowing through a vigorous vinyasa series or holding a balance pose, using yogic breathing to calm the nervous system during your practice can teach the body to react differently to stressful situations and panic moments off the mat. Lower stress can also mean lowering the chance and severity of stress related conditions and illnesses.

Got your attention? That’s not even the half of it! In addition, yoga has been found to improve sleep patterns, release tension, maintain your nervous system, increase circulation and lymph system function, lower blood sugar, relieve mild depression, regulate glands and hormones, boost immunity,… the list goes on!
If this makes you to want to reap the benefits of adding yoga to your weekly workouts, join us at Escape Medford for our Winter Workshop and learn how to practice both safely and effectively. If you are already enjoying these benefits, we would love to have you practice with us and learn more about why yoga is such an important part of a well-rounded exercise routine. All levels are welcome! Click here to sign up today!


Rachel Tarvin RYT 2IMG_023400,  grew up in Medford, NJ. She was a competitive gymnast for 8 years in middle school and high school. After many injuries and one surgery, Rachel found yoga helped ease the aches and pains of her over worked and hyper-mobile body. She continued her yoga practice when she went away to college.  She received a B.A. in English from the University of Miami in 2003.

A few years after graduating college, Rachel decided to take her decade-long yoga practice to the next level. She attended a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and graduated in early 2014 from the Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurveda in Massachusetts. After completing her training, she began teaching right away and now has close to 200 teaching hours under her belt.
Rachel has a passion for guiding students through their practice in a safe and nurturing way, encouraging proper body mechanics and the use of yogic breath. She believes that yoga truly can benefit any person that gives it a chance and that it is not merely for the “bendy.” She plans to return to Kripalu for a workshop about Teaching Yoga to Athletes in January of 2015 and intends to  complete her 500 hour teaching certification in the next few years.



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