What is Yoga?
Yoga is a comprehensive and ancient approach to full-body health that combines postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and deep relaxation. Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years in many forms and has gained massive popularity all over the globe in recent times.
It is considered the first step in spirituality. The word yoga means “union” or “being united” with the Divine Spirit. According to Patanjali, the father of yoga, it is a way through which the control of the material world over the human spirit can be eliminated. Yoga is meant to bring inner peace and equilibrium, apart from the chaotic world outside. It is a practice involving both the mind and body and is used to achieve improved health and relaxation
Health Benefits of Yoga
Daily yoga practice can bring in a number of benefits to practitioners. Yoga not only helps control diseases but also plays an important role in achieving relaxation and physical fitness.
BKS Iyengar’s yoga has yogic postures for eliminating stress from the body and mind. Yogic postures such as corpse posture, child’s posture, forward-bending posture, legs up the wall, cat’s posture, back-bending, and headstand are considered good for reducing anxiety and stress. Tests have also shown positive results for yoga’s impact on depression and stress because participants reported a marked decrease in levels. Performing yoga regularly also gives you a positive outlook towards life.
Yoga practice and the relaxation techniques in yoga have a positive effect on blood pressure. The regular practice of postures such as shavasana, padmasana, and baddha padmasana, along with pranayama techniques such as chandravedi and sheetali, help in reducing blood pressure. These postures keep the body and mind in a relaxed state. A study on yoga’s role in controlling blood pressure showed more positive results compared to the placebo treatments.
Yoga and a change in lifestyle can help in keeping a healthy heart and body. Ujjayi pranayama and bhramari pranayama are beneficial for the heart. Other postures such as vajrasana, janushirasana, padahastasana, and baddha padmasana, along with pranayama techniques like sarala pranayama and chandra bhedi pranayama can be practiced for a healthier body. A study on people with coronary artery diseases showed that by including yoga in their normal routine and a healthy diet, as well as a change in the lifestyle, the incidence of coronary artery disease was reduced drastically.
Regular yoga practice can also help in controlling diabetes. Some of the postures that can aid in controlling diabetes include pavanamuktasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, gomukhasana, koormasana, bhujangasana, dhanurasana, and mayurasana. Apart from these postures, pranayama exercises such as suryabhedi, ujjayi, and bhastrika have also been prescribed for diabetes. Controlled tests on diabeticpatients resulted in improved diabetic conditions for the majority of people who had undergone some sort of yoga training.
Relieves Back Pain
Yoga may benefit individuals with lower back pain as well.Some yoga poses or postures, such as mountain pose, pigeon pose, wall plank pose, back traction, and a child’s posture, can provide relief from lower back pain.
Cures Stomach Disorders
Gastric troubles can be relieved by practicing yoga. Certain asanas, or postures such as pavanamuktasana, padahastasana, and padangusthasana help in controlling gastric troubles, tone up abdominal muscles, increase gastric juices, and improve digestion. These postures are simple forward-bending postures where one has to touch one’s feet without bending the knees and take it forward to an extent that the palms must come under his or her feet with ease. This can help you get relief from a wide variety of issues.
Yoga works well in controlling musculoskeletal pain as well, especially osteoarthritis. The efficacy of yoga on osteoarthritis was studied in people suffering from osteoarthritis in hands. The tests showed that practicing yoga is effective in providing relief from hand osteoarthritis.
Treats Asthma and Bronchitis
Pranayama, or breathing exercises, in yoga are good for asthma patients.Yoga postures such as half-spinal twist, wind-relieving posture, and corpse posture, along with alternating nostril breathing technique can act as remedies for asthma and .
Surya Namaskara is considered to be beneficial for weight loss. Pada hasthasana and trikonasana can also be helpful in losing weight.