This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Start Doing Yoga


Free People

We all have a vague idea that yoga is good for your body and mind. You get out of class feeling all loosey-goosey and centered. But not many of us understand exactly how yoga benefits us physiologically and mentally—and it's hard to know how many sun salutations we have to do in order for those benefits to manifest. If you're new to all the poses and spiritual zen, the practice can feel intimidating, but good news: Experts agree that the benefits of yoga can show up as soon as your first class.

According to Kerri Axelrod, certified holistic health coach and yoga instructor, "Yoga can offer incredible benefits—from increased strength and flexibility to stress reduction—and is a great antidote to our hectic lifestyles that often overtax our nervous system." Though the benefits vary per individual and yoga style (kundalini, yin, vinyasa), there are certain positive changes that every yoga practitioner can expect to notice a day, week, month, or several years into their practice.

To show you a timeline of how yoga benefits your body and mind, we consulted a group of trusted yogis. Keep scrolling to see the amazing things that can happen after you start doing yoga!