Researchers at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, found that one bout of yoga can significantly improve your body image in the immediate aftermath of getting your zen on. For the record, studies have long backed up the benefits of a regular yoga practice: reduced stress, lower levels of anxiety and depression, greater energy, optimism, and memory, just to name a few. But this new study shows that even a single sesh packs major perks. (Get your flow on at home with Women’s Health’s Flat Belly Yoga DVD.)
Bust out your happy dance: Science has finally found a cure for those awful-yet-inevitable days when, for some unknown reason, you just can’t help but hate on your bodyrolex replica watches.
The research team had 46 people report their feelings about their body before and after completing a group yoga class and a group resistance class on different days. While both classes helped lower participants’ social anxiety about their physique, the yoga class had a more significant effect. And, more importantly, only yoga increased individuals’ body satisfaction.
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The theory? While strength training offers plenty of bennies, it often emphasizes appearance-based changes, like building muscle strength and visible tone. Yoga, on the other hand, shifts attention away from how you look to how you feel at that moment, connecting you with your body.
So next time you’re having an off day, whip out your mat and knock out a few sun salutations.
You’ll feel like a warrior in no time.