Why is Yoga healthy for your body?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.
Yoga is a whole body philosophy that involves: Working with breathing (pranayama), Stretching exercises, Postures (asanas) and Meditation.
Here are five reasons why yoga is healthy
Yoga reduces the effects of stress. Your nervous system gets confused in stressful periods. It actually constantly remains in the flight or fight mode, relaxing is not possible anymore. The result: all kinds of ailments, such as insomnia, anxiousness or high blood pressure. By consciously learning to relax by using yoga it allows the nervous system to reset. You become calmer, you worry less and you can get a better perspective. This gives you peace and quiet in your head. A new study at Harvard has found that yoga can do more than just cure your back pain, it can also cure your depression.
Even though yoga may have a relaxing effect, it does not mean that you only get sleepy from it. On the contrary, those who regularly practice the sun salutation and other yoga poses will feel more energetic. That is because your body is more flexible and fit, but also because your mental balance improves. You will find you give focus to worries and stress, leaving you with more energy.
Better focus and concentration
A good yoga session requires concentration. You will pay attention to your breathing and you keep your mind set on every move. This way you are completely in the “here-and-now.” This mindset is beneficial in the office: you can focus better at work and become more resistant to distracting thoughts or circumstances. Thus increasing your work productivity.
Stress is not good for your health. Research has shown that stressed subjects who practice 12 minutes of yoga on a daily basis, experience less inflammation in the body than the control group who did not practice yoga. Why? Yoga seems to trigger at least 68 genes so that the immune system is positively influenced. Lower back pain is a common condition in the UK, with 80% of the population suffer from it at some point in their lives. The University of York showed that a specially developed 12-week course of yoga proved to be a more effective treatment for people with chronic low back pain.
Yoga can help reduce different types of pain. Researchers found that pain caused by for example fibromyalgia, migraines and back pain, are greatly diminished by the effects of yoga. The biggest benefit of yoga compared to drugs is of course that there are no side effects. Moreover, it saves a lot of money. But do gather enough accurate information on which types of yoga are suited to treat your pain. For expecting mothers research in Manchester by Professor Aplin said: There is also evidence yoga can reduce the need for pain relief during birth and the likelihood for delivery by emergency caesarian section. This study also shows that pregnant women may be able to use yoga to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn may help prevent them developing post-natal depression. For other’s those who practise yoga find it brings a sense of peace to their life. They also find a physical change in improving muscle strength along with improved flexibility. One recent study compared levels of the amino acid GABA in those who regularly practised yoga and those who do an equivalent amount of walking. This amino acid is vital for a well-functioning brain and central nervous system and helps promote feelings of calm inside the body
Finally some nice yoga facts. Did you know that:
The practice of yoga has been associated with the cultural, religious and physical activity for more than 5,000 years. If you practise yoga you are known as a yogi. There are more than 300 million yogis. Naked yoga (yoga without clothes), Doga (yoga with your dog) are the latest trends in yoga. If you would like to try out yoga you can find classes all over the UK. for complete beginners, with experienced yoga teachers. With over 800 styles of yoga to choose from you’ll be sure to find a yoga style that suits your needs. You may want to try a few styles out first to find one that is a good fit for you.
Sources: Happywithyoga.com, The University of Manchester, The University of York, Harvard University.