Reason #13: The heart loves yoga

The heart is one of our most essential organs, pumping blood and vital materials throughout our bodies. While it's a muscle only the size of a fist, the heart has quite a job to do -- beating over 2.5 million times in the average lifetime. Caring for our hearts is critical to longevity and wellness.

But did you know 1 in 3 American adults suffers from high blood pressure? And the prevalence of high blood pressure increases as we age. High blood pressure means that it's more difficult for blood to pass through arteries and get to other critical organs like the brain, kidney, limbs and back to the heart. It means our hearts are working over time. There are dangerous risks of high blood pressure, including heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and kidney failure. That's why doctors call high blood pressure "the silent killer."

The good news is that yoga has been shown to reduce blood pressure and slow the heart rate. In one study, hypertension patients who practiced yoga in a studio 2 to 3 times per week for 6 months saw a significant drop in their blood pressure - more so than comparative treatment groups using diet alone. Yoga is recommended for those suffering from hypertension because the physical movements, combined with deep breathing, meditation, and inner reflection have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. 

Good heart health. Another reason we <3 yoga!