Yoga is an immensely rich and highly complex spiritual tradition. It means to join the individual soul with the universal soul. Yoga has many health benefits. The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling an individual’s mind, body and soul. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind; it helps manage stress and anxiety and keeps you relaxing. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. Practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body from the way you feel, look and move. Yoga asanas build strength, flexibility and confidence. Regular practice of yoga can help lose weight, relieve stress, improve immunity and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Yoga is not those forms of vigorous exercises. Rather, it is a form of systematic and rhythmic movements that have to be done one after another. Breathing patterns is important in the “ASANAS”.
Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious advantage of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a back bend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. Check out here for the best yoga therapy treatments.
Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up.
Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility. You can also check out here for the best yoga training in Kerala.
Spinal disks – the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves- crave movement. That’s the only way they get their nutrients. If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you’ll help keep your disks supple.
It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Head stand, Hand stand, and Shoulder stand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes. Here are some major similarities of Yoga and Ayurveda.
When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functions and raise the heart rate.
Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system. Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain. Additionally, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.
A regular practice gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.
Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs.
Regularly practicing yoga increases the ability to feel what your body is doing and improves your balance.
Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleep—which means you’ll be less tired and Boosts your immune system functionality
Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively—take drugs, over eat, work too hard, sleep around—you may pay the price in poorer health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you’ll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine.
Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapa, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits.
A proper yoga follower must follow a set of routines for exercise, rest and diet for maximum results. Yoga is done to obtain peace and it is done peacefully. There is no extreme movement in yoga. Yoga can be performed by people of all ages and even sick people. However sick people must consult an expert to plan the exercises needed to be done or avoided and also the intensity.
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