|Health benefits of YOGA|
Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that dates back thousands of years. It was designed as a path to spiritual enlightenment, but in modern times, the physical aspects of Hatha yoga have found huge popularity as a gentle form of exercise and stress management. There are many different varieties of yoga, but each one essentially relies on structured poses (asanas) practised with breath awareness.
Researchers have discovered that the regular practice of yoga may produce many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalisation of blood pressure. Yoga is a renowned antidote to stress. Over time, yoga practitioners report lower levels of stress and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This is because concentrating on the postures and the breath acts as a form of meditation.
The classical techniques of yoga date back more than 5,000 years. The practise of yoga encourages effort, intelligence, accuracy, thoroughness, commitment and dedication. The word yoga means ‘to join or yoke together’. It brings your body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation.
The exercises of yoga are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of your body, increasing your body’s efficiency and total health. Breathing techniques increase breath control to improve the health and function of body and mind.
The two systems of exercise and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, with an approach to a quiet mind that allows silence and healing from everyday stress. When practised regularly, yoga can become a powerful and sophisticated discipline for achieving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Types of yoga:
There are many different varieties of yoga, each with a slightly different slant. The most popular are Hatha, Bikram, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga.
Asanas or yoga postures:
Each yoga posture, or asana, is held for a period of time and linked with breathing. Generally, a yoga session begins with gentle asanas and works up to more vigorous or challenging postures. A full yoga session should exercise every part of your body and should include pranayama (breath control practises), relaxation and meditation.
The different postures or asanas include:
- lying postures
- sitting postures
- standing postures
- inverted or upside-down postures.
Health benefits of YOGA
- Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation.
- There is quite a bit of research showing that yoga can help reduce anxiety.
- In addition to improving your mental health, some studies suggest that practising yoga may reduce inflammation as well.
- Yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease.
- Yoga may help improve sleep quality, enhance spiritual well-being, improve social function and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer.
- Yoga may have an anti-depressant effect and could help decrease symptoms of depression.
- Practising yoga could help reduce many types of chronic pain.
- Incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep.
- practising yoga can help improve balance and increase flexibility.
- Yoga incorporates much breathing exercises, which could help improve breathing and lung function.
- Researchers suggest that doing yoga may help in relieving migraines.
- Yoga promotes healthy eating habits that help control blood sugar, increase weight loss and treat disordered eating behaviours.
- In addition to improving flexibility, yoga is a great addition to an exercise routine for its strength-building benefits.
- By reducing mental stress and physical tension through daily yoga, you’ll be able to think sharper and have more organized thoughts.
- Yoga gives you all that a gym can, but in a peaceful, safe and more holistic way.
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