The word “Yoga “is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, which means to unite or integrate the spirit and physical body. From the history of yoga, we come to know that it developed around the fifth and sixth centuries BCE, and the earliest accounts of yoga practices are found in the Buddhist Nikayas. It refers to physical, spiritual, mental practices or disciplines that aim to transform body and mind. Relieving exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi reduces stress and also helps us immensely to improve our strength and flexibility, and also aids in harmonizing our inner self with the world and bringing forth peace.
Our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles often leave us stressed and tired. Yoga enhances our physical and mental capacity, and prepares the mind and body for long term health. It enhances endurance, strength and flexibility of our body, and it also aids in improving posture, as well as in toning and strengthening the muscles. It lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and strokes. You are truly healthy when you are physically, mentally and emotionally balanced, and yoga helps us to reach that state.
Yoga after pregnancy helps if you want a fast recovery and weight loss. It provides us beautiful glowing skin, peaceful mind, good health, a strong body and also helps reduce weight. Flexibility prevents everyday injury including muscle and disc strains that happen while turning over in or getting out of bed and it reduces back aches caused by long hours of sitting or standing, bending down to pick something up or walking up and down the stairs. Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress, and yoga helps us to achieve this peaceful state of mind.
The health benefits of yoga need no new emphasis; it is a centuries old practice of holistic self-healing that brings forth harmony between body and mind.
Inner peace refers to a specific state of being mentally and spiritually at peace with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong during phases of stress. Bliss, happiness and contentment are the basic components of a peaceful mind which refers to a disposition free from the effects of stress. Finding inner peace is associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and self-realization.
Buddhism describes this peace as an experience of knowing oneself which can be achieved through yoga and meditation. Because during yoga we get more air into our lungs with each breath; we don’t have to breathe as quickly, and gradually our breathing slows down. This relaxing breathing alters our consciousness and transforms stress into peace.
There are various types of yoga asanas and benefits of yoga asanas are numerous. It provides us all round fitness, improves your sexual life, stamina and reduces the problems of migraines and insomnia. Migraine is a headache that affects the nerves of the head and is accompanied by sensory warning signs like flashes of light, blind spots, nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light and darkness.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, and those who have insomnia have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Yoga asanas help to stretch out the muscles in your body – provides you strong arms, toned buttocks, a strong back and legs.
It has been proven that the breathing techniques that are followed during yoga help strengthen our body and mind’s connection. It also aids us to deal with emotions that instigate stress and anxiety. Everyone becomes conscious and makes good choices about their health during the practice of yoga.
We come to know from yoga that sun salutations, veerbhadrasana, utkatasana, vrksasana, uttanasana, ardhya matsyendrasana, Badhakonasana, kumbhakasana, halasana, balasana and kapal bhati are important yoga asanas which help to reduce weight. They also help tone the entire body, boost our metabolic system and help burn fat. Thus, yoga helps obese people to lose weight.
Yoga boosts our immune system by enhancing the circulation of blood cells, decreasing stress hormones and stimulating the lymphatic system that aids to protect our body from the evil effects of toxins. Toxin is an antigenic poison of plant or animal origin, especially one produced by microorganisms and causing disease when present at low concentrations in the body.
Yoga poses improve our breathing technique, strengthen our muscles and organs, stimulate changes in gene expression and improves our immune system. Adho mukha svanasana, urdha mukha svanasana and bhujangasana are important yoga asanas which boost our immunity.
Yoga practice tones our body muscles and also makes them strong which helps improve our body posture when we sit, sleep, stand or walk. Stronger muscles help prevent sports injuries and other injuries caused due to overexertion. It can help us move better and felt less tired. It has been proven that people improved their flexibility up to 35% after only 8 weeks of yoga.
Athletes consider it really effective which help them to avoid injuries over the years. When you become stronger and more flexible, your posture also improves at the same time. The disturbing pain in the neck or back could result from something like using one side of your body more, and the imbalance can be identified and corrected with the help of yoga.
Yoga plays a pivotal role in protecting us from different kinds of heart diseases and also improves cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve blocked blood vessels that can lead to heart attack, chest pain and stroke.
Yoga asanas help reduce blood pressure, reduce symptoms of heart failure, increase cardiac rehabilitation, lower cholesterol, blood sugar and stress hormones. The deep breathing yoga exercises help slow the breathing rate, which reduces blood pressure and soothes the nervous system that generates stress hormones.
Depression is a mental illness that causes a constant feeling of sadness and lack of interest. It affects one’s thinking, behavior and feelings too. It is the accompanied by headache, chest pain, fatigue, irritation, restlessness, anxiety and insomnia and releases harmful free radicals that damage our immune system.
Effective postures of yoga for stress includes balasana, bhujangasana, anulom vilom, and shavasana. Yoga can be a great way to get rid of depression because it preoccupies our body and mind. Child’s pose, bhujangasana, dog pose, warrior pose, reverse warrior pose, bridge pose, supported corpse pose are the important postures of yoga for depression reduction.
Diabetes refers to a condition in which there is too much glucose in the blood, and it damages kidneys, nerves, teeth, eyes, feet and blood vessels which can lead to heart attack and stroke. When you follow a regular yoga schedule, your body commences responding to insulin that helps immensely in the reduction of blood glucose and it is also an excellent way to fight stress.
Effective postures of yoga for diabetes include pranayam, setubandhasana, balasana, vajrasana, sarvangasana, halasana, dhanurasana, chakrasana, paschimotasana and ardha matsyendrasana which also improve blood circulation in the arms and legs where diabetic patients mainly complain of pains.
Asthma is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. A recent research proves that those who follow yoga asanas show a significant improvement in lung function and a reduction in asthma symptoms when compared with those who don’t follow the path of yoga. Yoga is really beneficial to our body as deep breathing provides oxygen to our bodies and its various organs which is essential for our survival and aids the removal of waste products and toxins from the body. Deep breathing can control and sometimes cure asthma and yoga postures help provide enough oxygen to our body.
Lower back pain is considered to be chronic when it has been present for more than three months. Chronic back pain can originate from an injury, disease or stress. This type of pain can be felt as bone pain and nerve pain. Yoga stretches act magically for those whose back pain is directly related to depression. Yoga breathing techniques are really effective in the circulation of oxygen throughout the body and breathing also provides an opportunity for meditation which many people consider as the key to overcome pain. Sphinx, pigeon, two-knee twist, spine hamstring stretch, threads the needle and legs up the wall are the important postures of yoga that reduce chronic back pain.
Yoga offers us what we really need, so include yoga practice schedule into your life to lead a healthy beautiful life and don’t forget to share your health tips with us.
Image Sources: yogahealingretreats.com, shaktialbir.com, mindbodygreen.com, hnrkw.com, searchtherapy.com, edition.cnn.com.
Deblina Biswas has an M.Sc degree in Nutrition from the University of Osmania and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She loves everything about food and fitness and the fact that she has been able to follow her heart when it comes to her profession. When she is not working, she likes to rustle up delectable concoctions in the kitchen, of course keeping the health quotient intact. She says, everyone just loves her healthy biryani she makes for special occasions. She believes that most ailments can be cured with the right amalgamation of nutrition and fitness.
Weight Loss | Diabetes | Thyroid | PCOS