Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. It was designed as a path to spiritual enlightenment, but in modern times, the physical aspects of yoga have found huge popularity as a form of gentle exercise and stress management.
There are different types of yoga, but each one essentially relies on structured poses practiced with breath awareness.
Yoga has become more popular across the world, this because more and more people have seen the benefits of this ancient practice. Below are some proven health benefits of yoga:
- Increase Strength
Yoga poses (Asanas) require you to support your body weight in a new ways, so help you build strength in different parts of the body. For example, Tree Pose, which balancing your weight on one leg, Downward Facing Dog, supporting your body with your arms. Some practices focus on the less movement and moving slowly in and out of poses, which also increase muscle strength and endurance.
- Improve Flexibility
In addition to muscle strengthening, Yoga also beneficial for all of the soft tissues of your body which improve flexibility particularly in back, hip, shoulders, and hamstrings.
- Improve Posture
Yoga has many standing and sitting poses means you are more likely to sit and stand that leads to a better posture. Doing yoga also increased an awareness of your body as it teaches you how to control your body in a healthier position. This heightened awareness tells you when you bend or slump so you can adjust your posture.
- Improve Breathing
Yoga breathing exercises (Pranayama), aims on proper breathing and bring more oxygen to the blood and brain. Several types of breath exercising can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.
- Detoxify the Body
As the yoga poses and breathing exercising that gently massage your organs, thereby increasing the blood flow to various parts of the body. The increased blood flow cleans the body thoroughly and gets rid of all the toxins. It also delays the aging process and makes you feel energetic.
- Reduce Pain
Yoga is believed to reduce all kinds of pain by helping the brain regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and by releasing natural painkillers in the body. Therfore, it is very effective for people suffering from back pain, joint pain, arthritis pain, etc.
- Maintain a Healthy Heart
Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Several research have shown that doing yoga at least three times a week can lead to lower blood pressure and the overall risk of heart disease. According to a study conducted at Yale University School of Medicine, participant who took six sessions of yoga program improved their blood vessel function by 17 percent.
- Protect against Various Disease
In addition to be beneficial to the heart, yoga also can help fight diseases such as digestive disorders, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and varicose veins. Medical researchers have begun studying the benefits of yoga therapy or also called Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT).
- Cure Insomnia
Regular practice of yoga has been proven beneficial for those who suffering from insomnia or difficult to fall asleep. A small studies on yoga practitioners at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found significant improvement in their sleep pattern.
- Reduce Stress and Promote relaxation
Yoga has long been known to be a great antidote to stress. Yoga combines many popular stress-reducing methods, including exercise and learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body. Over time practitioners report lower levels of stress and increase feelings of happiness and wellness. This is because concentrating on postures and breathing acts as a powerful form of meditation.
When it comes to yoga practice, you should know that the results are not over night, it can take days, weeks or even more. But certainly, the results will be there. Also, once you start building a harmonious relationship with your inner self, you will get a complete knowledge of one-self.