What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice which deals with the well being of human mind and body. Yoga helps you to improve the quality of your life by improving your physical and emotional well-being.
Yoga is a set of exercises performed to make the body flexible. Yoga can be practiced by anyone irrespective of age, sex, fitness level etc. Athletes, Sportsmen, and people who are physically active use the strengthening methods to develop their activities more. Yoga techniques also help children increase their attention span. People of advanced age can use yoga techniques to improve the flexibility of their joints. Physicians recommend yoga practices for people with cardiac issues.
Hatha Yoga is the most accepted form of Yoga that contains various types of Asanas (exercise postures) and is beneficial in improving the body strength and flexibility.
Benefits of Yoga:
- Yoga Asanas (Yoga Postures) help you to improve your strength and flexibility and enables a person to carry out his or her daily activities without issues. Deep breathing methods are useful in removing toxins from the body and aids in relaxation. Yoga has proven to be very successful for weight loss. It is useful with healing and also helps with nourishment of the body.
- Dealing with stress is an important part of today’s life. Yoga is one of the widely recommended practices which helps overcome pressures of today’s life. Understanding how yoga and health benefits go hand in hand is important so that one is able to live comfortably and is relieved of stress from the body. When one begins practicing the various techniques of yoga the stress levels begins to diminish in no time because both mind and body are relaxed at the same time.
- Yoga helps to build body strength. Most of the Yoga postures or Yoga Asanas involve all the muscles in the body in order to hold and balance them, thereby strengthening the various parts of body such as hands, feet, legs, shoulders, etc.
- Stretching and breathing exercises of Yoga improve the body flexibility which in turn helps the joints, tendons, and muscles. People suffering from OA (osteoarthritis) or RA (rheumatoid arthritis) have seen substantial improvement in their stiffness, pain, and other arthritic symptoms by doing yoga.
- Yoga increases body endurance, specifically the more vigorous and stronger forms of yoga like Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga. These stronger forms of yoga practices have a definite sequence of Asanas which become more demanding as a person progresses. Unlike the Hatha Yoga, whch is the gentler form, the forms of Ashtagna Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and Bikram Yoga requires one to keep the body in constant motion between postures, which results in a strenuous cardiovascular workout which improves core strength.
- To relieve a person from chronic back and neck pain Hatha Yoga is done. The position in this form of Yoga stretches out the back and neck muscles and strengthens it.
- Yoga is frequently prescribed for treatment of various injuries. This may include repetitive strain injuries of the knee and back, pulled hamstrings etc. but it is prudent to consult ones doctor before utilizing yoga for treatment of any injury.
- Yoga is an excellent weightbearing exercise to improve bone density. It is particularly beneficial in women approaching menopause, since yoga helps thwart osteoporosis or thinning of the bone.
Benefits of Yoga to the Cardiovascular System:
- Yoga has enormous health benefits for the heart. Individuals suffering from hypertension benefit from yoga enormously because “Hatha Yoga” has a tendency to lower the blood pressure and it also controls the heart rate.
- The lighter forms of yoga have proved to lower the blood pressure because the “Asanas” holds the blood flow even throughout the body when the focus is on the breathing.
- Power Yoga is a splendid form of cardiac conditioning. It strengthens the core muscles of the body and maintains circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
- Many people practicing yoga regularly have claimed that yoga has lowered their cholesterol levels.
Benefits of Yoga on Mental Health:
- Yoga is a proven relaxing technique which in turn is an effective form of psychological therapy. Yoga aids in decreasing anxiety and stress resulting in better health, good mood, and good concentration throughout the day. Yoga has been used in treatment of a variety of psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
- For Children, yoga is beneficial for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Pranayam (breathing technique) and yoga Asanas (exercise postures) helps the Children learn how to relax.
- Yoga is quite effective and has been used on victims of trauma and torture with success and has helped in healing them.
Benefits of Yoga on Other Health Conditions:
- Headaches: Yoga is helpful in people who suffer from migraines and tension type headaches. Yoga improves blood circulation and oxygen to the head which often prevents headaches from beginning.
- Builds Immunity: A regular practice of yoga with proper techniques bumps up the antioxidants throughout the body with a resultant stronger immune system with the ability to heal quickly from injuries and other problems.
- Weight Loss: Yoga is very effective, if done regularly, if someone wants to lose weight and maintain a normal weight throughout his/her life. Power Yoga, which originated in America, is a vigorous form of yoga that consumes calories resulting in weight loss.
- Many women going through menopause frequently report reduced symptoms when they start to practice yoga.
- Insomnia: Yoga can help with insomnia, as regular yoga practice leads to better and deeper sleep.
- Fatigue: Yoga is efficacious for a number of autoimmune diseases as it reduces their symptoms like stiffness, weakness, fatigue etc.
- Yoga helps in battling fatigue and retains energy throughout the day.
- Yoga to strengthen Wrists and Arms: Studies have found patients with such painful disorders as fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis can exercise to increase tolerance of physical activity.
- If one is suffering from carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, or other inflammatory joint conditions practicing yoga regularly helps to safely strengthen all the arm muscles.
- The main problem that current sufferers face is pain at the beginning. The moderate styles of yoga as proved by research allows for a lesser painful beginning.
As can be seen now, there is another option. Yoga offers a way to manage pain and increase flexibility. Once this is done, more complex yoga positions can be used to strengthen the arm and joint muscles. This promotes good circulation, so the antiinflammatory hormones which are produced when doing yoga meditations are delivered to joint tissues efficiently. Traditional exercise also makes long-term relief possible.