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Bring a friend, it’s good for your health!

by Angela Porcelli

A friendship can bring more than just joy into your life. Friendships in older adults are associated with instances of better physical health and healthy behaviors, as well as better mental health across the board. Having good friends is associated with positive health behaviors and benefits, it can be attributed to an almost 10% increase in likelihood to exercise, a 17% reduced risk of depression, and a 19% lower likelihood of having a stroke. People with strong social ties have a 50% better chance of a long life, regardless of their age, sex, health status, and cause of death. And a more recent study shows having more friends adds to your lifespan by 20 years.

While my yoga journey of 16 years started before an invitation from a friend to yoga, I have invited friends to yoga through the years. It is a shared experience unmatched by other forms of exercise. Recently, I asked a friend to join me for a yoga class at the local gym at the start of the year. She didn’t know much about yoga or what to do in that first class, but one thing she knew for certain was how she loved the way she felt afterwards. She has been ‘hooked’ from that moment on, and it marks the start of her yoga practice. 

Having an accountability partner is a big benefit, my yoga friends and I share texts and encouragement the night before our usual class as a checkin. Yoga friends provide a way to remain consistent weekly, showing up for you on those days when you lack motivation. We are less likely to bail on a yoga friend. Yoga friends show support for your accomplishments, like your first headstand or chaturanga. It is uplifting to chat with a friend after class about your next class or sit in that glorious yoga euphoria. It's that feeling of being 'high' because yoga promotes the release of endorphins, our feel good hormones.

Going to your first yoga class can be intimidating but not with a friend. Invite a friend to your next class or accept an invitation, it’s good for your health! comment below to let us know who you would invite.

Dharma Chakra Yoga School a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School that offers 200- and 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, as well as Reiki Trainings. The Dharma Chakra Yoga School is located within Jen Murphy Fitness, 113 W Harford St, Milford, PA 18337. For information on sessions and classes, visit or contact 917-686-6849 or

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