When talking about fitness exercises with numerous benefits, the benefits of yoga cannot be overlooked. Yoga essentially means what brings you to reality; it literally means “union.” It was derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘Yuj’, meaning “to join” or “to unite”. Yoga is an ancient practice believed to have originated in India around 3000BCE and started with the very dawn of civilization. It is truly a spiritual discipline supported by an extremely refined science, which focuses on bringing internal calm or tranquillity between mind and body, making it an art and science of healthy living.
Yoga is now an accepted worldwide practice that has changed over time. Its methods and effects are now studied, with many research studies supporting how it enhances immunity and lung capacity. In addition, it generally offers physical and mental health benefits for everyone, including the young and the old. For example, suppose you are just recovering from medical surgery or living with a chronic condition. In that case, yoga can become a vital part of your treatment and possibly hasten healing.
There are many different types of yoga practices. The style a person chooses often depends on expectations, level of physical agility, and state of health. People with certain health conditions like osteoarthritis or sciatica should carry out yoga slowly and with caution. They may even require a yoga teacher.
In the sections below are the major health benefits of yoga;
Several studies show yoga to have a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors. It helps lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. This helps the body sense imbalances in blood pressure and maintain balance. As a result of these, people with high blood pressure and heart diseases can benefit from yoga. In addition, yoga has also been proven to improve lipid profiles in healthy patients and patients with known heart-related diseases.
Furthermore, it lowers the excessive blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes, reducing their need for medications. In addition to the above benefits, it’s linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In this modern age, yoga has now been included in most cardiac rehabilitation programs due to its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits.
Yoga can help relieve tension and anxiety in the mind and body, therefore impacting a person’s exercise capacity. For example, a study of a small group of sedentary individuals who had not practiced yoga before shows that after five weeks of practicing yoga at least twice a week for a total of 200 minutes, the participants had greater muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, and cardio-respiratory fitness. Some styles of yoga are very powerful and physical such as ashtanga and power yoga . Besides that, even the less vigorous styles such as Hatha and Iyengar also provide strength benefits. If you practice one of these styles, it will help you improve your muscle tone and strength.
Recent studies show that yoga may help reduce inflammatory markers in the body and prevent pro-inflammatory diseases. Although inflammation is just a normal immune response, chronic inflammation may develop pro-inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cancers, coronary diseases, etc. For example, a 2014 research shows that 13 weeks of yoga reduced inflammatory markers in breast cancer survivors with constant fatigue. Although few more studies are required to confirm the health benefits of yoga on inflammation, some researches indicate that it may protect against chronic inflammation causing certain diseases.
It aids digestion
We all know that eating right is a vital component of getting strength and feeling your best. Yoga may give you a boost in energy by helping improve or aid your digestion. People often believe that yoga helps improve digestive health by reducing stress, increasing circulation, and promoting the physical motility of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Most yoga moves generally involve twists, and they aid your digestive system to move food through it more efficiently. Regularly carrying out these sorts of moves may also help increase your core strength and flexibility.
Helps with weight loss
If your goal is to lose weight, yoga can help with that. All types of yoga generally require you to use your body weight to execute challenging poses, which can help you strengthen and tone your muscles. The right type of yoga burns calories. Aside from that, it will help you get in the right mental shape to make decisions that will help you lose weight. You may need to practice yoga more often to lose weight. You can do a more intense and active yoga practice at least four to six times per week for at least two hours.