What Are The Health Benefits of Yoga?

yogaYoga books tell us that Yoga, as we all know, is aimed to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit.  Yogis view that the mind and the body are one, and that if it is given the right yoga kitand tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Yoga therefore is considered therapeutic.  It helps you become more aware of your body’s posture, alignment and patterns of movement.  It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment.  This is one of the foremost reasons why people want to start Practicing Yoga – to feel fitter, be more energetic, be happier and peaceful. 

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a science that has been practiced for thousands of years.  It is consists of Ancient Theories, observations and principles about the mind and body connection which is now being proven by modern medicine.  Substantial research has been conducted to look at the Health Benefits of Yoga – from the Yoga Postures (Asanas), Yoga Breathing (Pranayama), and Meditation.  The information on Yoga Poses & Benefits are grouped into three categories-physiological, psychological, biochemical effects. Furthermore, scientists have laid these results against the benefits of regular exercise.

Yoga For Pain Management:

Yoga is believed to reduce pain by helping the brain’s pain center regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body.  Breathing exercises used in yoga can also reduce pain.  Because muscles tend to relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension.  Awareness of breathing helps to achieve calmer, slower respiration and aid in relaxation and pain management.

Yoga’s inclusion of relaxation techniques and meditation can also help reduce pain.  Part of the effectiveness of yoga in reducing pain is due to its focus on self-awareness.  This self-awareness can have a protective effect and allow for early preventive action.


Yoga For Weight Reduction:

Regular yoga practice can help in weight management.  Firstly, some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions.  The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism.  There are several asanas, such as the shoulder stand and the fish posture, which are specific for the thyroid gland.  Fat metabolism is also increased, so fat is converted to muscle and energy.  This means that, as well as losing fat, you will have better muscle tone and a higher vitality level.

Yogic practices that reduce anxiety tend to reduce anxious eating.  In addition, yoga deep breathing increases the oxygen intake to the body cells, including the fat cells.  This causes increased oxidation or burning up of fat cells.  Yogic exercises induce more continuous and deeper breathing which gradually burns, sometimes forcefully, many of the calories already ingested.

Yoga For Stress Relief:

A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to get rid of stress that accumulates daily – in both the body as well as the mind.  Yoga postures, pranayama and meditation are effective techniques to release stress.  You can also experience how yoga helps de-tox the body and de-stress the mind.

Additional Physical Benefits Of Yoga:

The ancient practice of yoga is becoming increasing popular all over the world.  Many people practice yoga to enjoy the health benefits of yoga.  The physical benefits of include:yoga

  • managing symptoms of afflictions like menstrual cramps, backaches, headaches and arthritis
  • Increasing lung capacity and stabilizing breathing
  • Improving and preserving the circulation of blood
  • Keeping blood pressure and pulse-rate in check
  • Boosting energy, stamina and endurance
  • Enhancing digestion

Anyone can do yoga-no matter how young or old you are, whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete.  Size and fitness level do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose.  The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection

Start by going to a yoga class.  Look for a teacher who challenges you but does not push, who offers modifications, and who works one-on-one with students.  Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move.  Use a yoga mat for cushioning and to keep from slipping.  If there is no yoga studio in your town, practice with a video and read books.  Just remember one thing:  “No pain, no gain” is NOT the yoga way.  If it hurts, stop.  Patience and feeling good about yourself and your world is what yoga is all about 🙂 

Thanks for Reading!!!



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Category: Challenge, Diet, Healthy Foods, Weight-Loss

About the Author ()

Originally born and raised in Woburn Massachusetts (love my Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins!) I made my trek northward to the beautiful state of Maine back in October 2003 after marrying my college sweetheart. We began a family in 2004 and I am happy to say that we have 4 happy, healthy, beautiful children that bring an amazing amount of joy to our lives! I am also a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed back in 2006 (out of the blue), at a routine doctors visit. Diabetes has single handed-ly been the biggest obstacle that I have faced in my life. At the time I had no idea of what a roller coaster ride I would be in for, I mean really, what's a couple finger sticks a day and a couple shots of insulin for food...this will be easy, I got this! Well 2 ER visits later, I quickly found out that this was no joke, and if I wanted to see my little ones grow up, this was something that I needed to take seriously! Little by little as we began to digest all of the information that was being thrown at acting insulin, short acting insulin, lancets, test meters, test strips, ketone sticks, carb counting, food groups, glucagon emergency kits, insulin pumps, glucose monitors...OMG, my head was spinning like a top!! After a couple of crazy years, I can happily say that I am well controlled and feel absolutely amazing! Not to be lost in all of this either is the amazing support of my wife. She has been my rock! She has been with me every step of the way, from 2am finger sticks to helping me change out a failed pump in the middle of a crowded restaurant. She truly is an amazing wife and mom and I can't imaging my life without her love and support- love you babe!

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