About Yoga health benefits
We have all heard that practicing yoga is an important activity for our health. Yoga improves our flexibility and stability and helps us relax. Beyond these well-known benefits of yoga, there are many extensive benefits that contribute to our overall mind, body, and spiritual health. This essay on the benefits of Yoga list the top 15 Yoga health benefits and Yoga therapy contribution to mental health.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a Sanskrit term. It is first mentioned in Katha Upanishad, an Indian manuscript from the 7th century BC, where it is described as the concentration of consciousness when the senses are in control.
The word yoga is often translated as “union”.
The intention is to unite the body and mind, man and God, the conscious and the unconscious, and so on. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, a manuscript from the 1st century CE, the philosophical foundation of yoga is described in 200 short sentences. In the first three sentences, yoga is presented as limiting the fluctuations of consciousness.
In this situation, an ideal connection is created between the soul and the rest of the man. Today most people who practice yoga refer primarily to the body performing asanas – postures, although essentially yoga is a practice that includes meditation, breathing exercises, asanas, and self-study. Still, keep in mind that there are different types of Yoga, like Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Tantra Yoga and more.
Yoga Top Health Benefits
Here are just 15 of the many ways that yoga improves our health, and positively impacts our life.
1. Prevent and Relieve Stress
It’s a well-known fact that practicing yoga can help you relax at the end of a long day. But did you know that daily yoga practice can help you avoid stress before it happens? Researchers looked at the effects of yoga on stress using two groups of people: the first group practiced yoga every day for 12 weeks while the second did not.
Both groups were then given tests while their stress levels, heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure were measured. Those who practiced yoga showed no increase in stress during the tests while the group who did not do yoga, did.
These results indicate that people who do yoga are better equipped to handle stress in their lives. The study also found a direct link between yoga practice and reduced depression. Stress can lead to increased anxiety and depression. By combating stress through yoga, you are also fighting anxiety and depression.
2. Stronger Immune System
Another study was conducted by a different group of researchers to investigate the effects of yoga practice on women undergoing surgery to remove breast cancer. Most people who have major surgery experience shock to the immune system.
The women included in this study practiced daily yoga after their surgery. This activity resulted in a smaller impairment of the immune system. The conclusion of this study suggests that regular practice of yoga strengthens our immune system and causes it to be more resistant, even in extreme cases.
3. Improving Relationships
Yoga affects not only our bodies, but also our psyche, and can help us to improve relationships with partners, children, parents, friends, co-workers, and even strangers.
Yoga helps us feel more peaceful, more connected to our bodies and those around us, effects that contribute to better and stronger relationships.
Yoga also dramatically improves our self-confidence, a particularly significant contribution to maintaining healthy relationships. A better sense of security in ourselves allows us to communicate with other people in a more open, full manner.
4. Better Concentration
Have you ever tried to focus on a job or a meaningful conversation, and found your mind wandering to personal problems? A quarrel with the spouse, the sick mother, or the lack of money in the bank account break into your day when you’re trying to focus on something else.
One of the things we practice during yoga is maintaining full concentration and awareness of the moment we are in.
When we practice yoga for long enough, the habit of keeping concentration and consciousness begins to affect our lives even outside the practice. The positive impact on our lives is that we can be more attentive to conversations with friends and family, be more efficient employees, and manage daily tasks better.
5. A Healthier Diet
You know those days that you tend to go to the refrigerator every hour, even when you’re not hungry. Nothing sounds good, and yet you can’t stop picking. This behavior is caused by high levels of the hormone cortisol in the blood, which is related to the impact of pressure and stress on the body. How Yoga contribute to weight loss? (it can be Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga or any Yoga type.
Yoga practice lowers cortisol levels and increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is the enzyme secreted in the brain while experiencing pleasure or happiness. Yoga, which regulates levels of cortisol, helps us be more attuned to our bodies. An effect of this is eating only when we are really hungry, and not in response to stress.
High levels of cortisol affect not only how often we approach the refrigerator, but also the choices we make. Usually, under the influence of stress, we prefer foods rich in salt, oil, and sugar. Lowering cortisol levels will help our bodies crave healthier foods and us to make better choices.
6. More Physical Strength
Many people think that yoga practice only improves our flexibility, but actually, yoga requires that our body practice more force than expected.
True, they say everyone can do yoga, But it is advisable to start at a low level, with exercises that do not require extraordinary strength or flexibility, and to progress slowly to the level where your body will be capable of things you never believed you would be able to perform. As you become more skilled in yoga, your muscles will strengthen, and you’ll be stronger than ever before.
7. Detox Your Body
Yoga practice stimulates the lymphatic system in the body. The lymphatic system is responsible for the regulation of substances in our bodies. It ensures that there are sufficient nutrients in our bodies and removes toxins that have accumulated.
The buildup of toxins in a body can make you feel sick, sluggish, and mentally foggy. They are dangerous and need to be removed from your body in order for it to function correctly.
Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your yoga practice to make sure that the toxins, which start moving by stimulating the lymphatic system, will gather and leave your body. Your body will feel clean and light, healthier and more vibrant.
8. Coping With Pain
Yoga practice is one of the most common treatments for lower back pain. This is not particularly surprising since yoga practice works to strengthen and improve the flexibility of the back.
Yoga is used more and more for the treatment of pain in different places and more surprising – tingling sensations and numbness in the wrist and joints, arthritis, unexplained pain in the body muscles, and cartilage erosion between the joints.
In extreme cases, yoga practice is especially suited to the treatment of various medical problems, but even basic yoga practice can help relieve chronic pain, improve mood, and relieve accumulated fatigue. Yoga is a much cheaper and safer treatment option than many medications and surgeries. It’s a natural way to improve your health and fight pain.
9. Maintain Bone Density
At advanced ages, we begin to hear warnings from the doctor about bone density and are forced to take supplements to prevent its loss. It turns out yoga also contributes to this area of health. Running and lifting weights are familiar recommendations for maintaining bone density, but they require a lot of physical effort.
Practicing yoga is an activity in which everyone can take part, and it contributes to strengthening the bones as much as weightlifting. Practicing yoga at an early age will also help to cope with the calcium drain at later ages.
10. Maintaining Cardiovascular Health
Yoga is not only about maintaining certain poses for a length of time. There are also types of yoga that require faster movement that increases the heart rate. Health benefits of yoga, such as yoga exercises, contribute not only to strengthening the muscles but also to maintaining a healthy and robust blood system.
Other studies have shown that moderate yoga combined with meditation lowered stress levels, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and fat percentage in patients with cardiovascular disease. Varying your yoga practice can help you keep your heart healthy and functioning correctly.
11. Improved Mood
In the study of the relationship between yoga practice and recovery from breast cancer treatment, it was found that yoga also helps relieve tension and depression, as well as improving the overall quality of your life. It turns out that yoga is recommended to treat depression among all sufferers, not only in the context of serious diseases.
A study conducted in a prison in the United States found that the daily practice of yoga lowered the levels of depression and anxiety in both prisoners and warders. Another study found a direct link between yoga practice and the regulation of the changing moods characteristic of the transition to menopause in women.
12. Treatment of Asthma Symptoms
Practicing yoga requires, apart from maintaining the poses, deep and regular breathing exercises. The deep breathing exercises train the respiratory system and improve its immunity.
The practice also develops an awareness of the way we breathe, and when our breathing begins to deteriorate, even slightly, we immediately notice it.
Even those who do not have asthma do not always breathe in the best way. Improving awareness of the way we breathe helps us maintain a healthy and strong respiratory system.
13. Better Digestion and Less Constipation
When doing yoga, the various poses, and movements you put your body through help more than just build strength and improve flexibility. These movements also alleviate tension and cramps, helping to stimulate the digestive system.
A better working digestive system breaks down food better, giving your body more nutrients and filtering out waste more effectively.
A light workout in the morning will stimulate the body, and the digestive system in particular, and prepare your body for a new and healthy day.
14. Brain Boost and Mindfulness
Yoga helps so many of our bodily systems to function better than it should be no surprise that your brain will also benefit from daily practice. When practicing yoga, more than just your body is engaged to coordinate moves and maintain breathing requires focus.
That focus helps strengthen your brain, building a more mindful, calm approach to yoga and the world outside. This mindfulness translates to every aspect of your life.
You’ll be better equipped to handle uncertainty and stress, and will be able to remain calm when necessary. The focus required in yoga also stimulates the brain, a necessary activity to keep your brain healthy and strong for years to come.
Those who suffer from forgetfulness or are approaching advanced age can doubly benefit from the boost yoga gives their brain.
15. Yoga for Creativity
The same focus that helps stimulate and strengthen your brain will also help your creativeness. With the mental clarity that yoga stresses, your mind will be clearer and more receptive to creative ventures.
The calm, mindful approach you take to handle life and all the challenges it throws your way will leave you in a better place to explore your creative side.
If you’ve wanted to try a new art form, pottery, photography, or any other form of expressing yourself, try creating after your yoga session!
Yoga to the People
If you asked yourself what is Yoga good for or how daily Yoga practice can contribute to your health, you probably got a detailed answer about the health benefits of Yoga for life. we want to sum up the benefits of yoga, Yoga is an incredible way to exercise our bodies, strengthen our minds, and improve our lives.
Regular yoga practice can lead to a stronger body, a clearer mind, and help us improve our focus and reduce our stress. There are many benefits to practicing yoga and it’s the recommended exercise for both men and women, young and old.
Do your body a favor and give yoga a try! Enjoy the many benefits of yoga, both visible and not. Experience healthy bodily systems, a calm and focused mind, and a more relaxed life. You’ll feel better than you have in a long time!
More information about the health benefits of Yoga
If you’re interested in more in-depth material, and yoga benefits research, you can read a research published at NIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) about Yoga health benefits.
Another interesting article is summarizing 50 scientific studies about Yoga health benefits.
In the following YouTube video, Michael de Manincor of The Yoga Institute presents his PhD research on the impact of Yoga on Mental Health and outlines the benefits of a personalized yoga practice.