The practice of yoga provides many great health benefits for both the mind and body. One of our favorites is its ability to prevent cartilage and joint breakdown. As a reminder, joints are the connection points between bones, and cartilage is the smooth tissue that cushions the joints so that bones don't rub together (ouch!). A breakdown of the cartilage can cause chronic inflammation in the joint. So now you're asking, how do I keep my cartilage healthy?
The answer: Yoga. Each time you step on the mat you are relaxing and moving your joints through their full healthy ranges of motion and increasing blood flow. This carries fresh nutrients to the cartilage within the joint. How does it work? Your body does not take nutrients directly to cartilage, rather nutrients surround the cartilage and are only absorbed when old fluid is squeezed out so fresh fluid can be absorbed. This occurs when you move your joints through their full ranges and why yoga in particular helps prevent possible deterioration.
Yoga also helps protect our joints by building muscle strength. Strong muscles mean less work for our joints as they absorb forces that would otherwise impact the joints. Strong muscles provide stability for our joints during movement and thereby help prevent injury. And what's not to love about strong muscles, injury prevention, and healthy cartilage and joints?