Yoga is scientifically proven to strengthen the immune system. It is said to lower the stress hormones that cause the decrease of the immune system’s functional level, allowing diseases and other medical problems to occur. It generally conditions the respiratory tract and the lungs. This helps the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, while bringing oxygenated blood to the body organs. As a result, this healthy process ensures the optimal function of the organs inside the human body.
Apparently, “Yoga works on everything.” This is according to Dr. Kathleen Fry of the American Holistic Medicine Association. Unlike any other exercise, Yoga is a holistic process. It does not only focus on certain body parts or body organs. Instead, it works for the entire human body.
What is Yoga?
Long before ancient civilization progressed, yoga already existed. The very first guru of this healing practice is Shiva. The ancient practice sprouted from the banks of the lake of Kantisarovar in the Himalayas. From there, it propagated through the continent of Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and South America. Eventually, many scholars were amused and they brought its amazing and natural power to the rest of the civilization up to the present.
Today, many yoga centers around the globe have opened with the aim of advertising yoga as a healthy practice. Yoga, in a very subtle manner, mainly starts on creating harmony between the human mind and the human body that runs on the saying “a sound mind in a sound body”. Generally, it is conceptualized as a science of healthy living and art. The main objective of yoga is to live in freedom, health, and harmony in all aspects of life.
What Are The Different Types Of Yoga?
This is the most common type of yoga in the United States. This is also known as the yoga of energy. The practice of this type of yoga involves breath, body, and mind. Often, the class duration is within 45-90 minutes of breathing, meditation, and yoga pose.
This type of yoga is very ideal for beginners. It is detail-oriented and is slow-paced. Participants may use blocks, belts, and pillow-like bolsters to enable them to get the correct alignment of poses. This type of yoga focuses on alignment. It strengthens the muscle of the body for postures such as the legs, back, and core. With the alignment, the often ignored muscles become stronger.
This type of yoga is also perfect for beginners. However, this is more extreme and fast-paced. It is typically designed to build strength and endurance. This is good for those who are in need of a cardio work-out. It becomes suitable for a cardio work-out through its swift movements which can effectively raise one’s heart rate. It helps in burning calories though it is not as effective as aerobics.
This type of yoga is usually done in a very hot room. It is incorporated with 26 postures which participants have to practice twice in every session. Just like any other traditional yoga, it reduces stress, improves strength and flexibility. However, a new study suggests that having yoga in a hot room may increase the body temperature and the heart rate which may be dangerous.
This is the practice of Asanas. It typically involves five to six poses with the use of props to allow the person to relax. Its restorative poses are based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. Its main goal is to give support to the body and help it relax during the session. It allows the person to practice the art of relaxation while the person develops the skills to self—soothe. This is also very suitable for back pain.
This is another gentle form of yoga. It combines the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. This is a traditional discipline to instill self-awareness. It is best practiced for personal development and self-empowerment. It allows the person to establish a firm and close relationship with themselves, their body, and impetrate the divine existence.Further, it improves balance and flexibility.
Why Try Yoga?
Doing yoga every day will create a lot of benefits to the person. It does not only positively affect you physically but it also affects you mentally and emotionally. From here, let us discuss the benefits of yoga.
Yoga can help in poor blood circulation
For the blood circulation problem, physical or body movement is the key to alleviate this medical condition. As such, yoga may be helpful in improving blood circulation. The poses such as Warrior II, Downward Facing Dog, Triangle, and the Legs up the Wall are most helpful in this case.
Yoga can help in the cases of osteoporosis
In a study conducted in 2009, researchers found out that yoga helps in the problems of osteoporosis. If it is properly done in a consistent manner, it can increase bone density. Further, it revamps balance and flexibility. Enhanced ability to balance and flexibility will lessen the chance of falling down and fractures in the long run.
Yoga helps in the problems of arthritis
Regular yoga sessions for people who are experiencing arthritis may help reduce pain. It also improves joint flexibility and function while it helps in lowering stress and tension, thus promoting a night of good sleep. Vinyasa and Ashtanga types of yoga are good for cases of arthritis.
Yoga helps ease depression
Yoga, as an exercise, is a natural way of producing serotonin. Serotonin is a happy hormone that is produced by the brain to uplift the mood of the person and promote happiness. A good level of serotonin prevents depression from reoccurring. In a way, through helping the person practice relaxation responses, focus on positive images, the mind is slowly soothed. Thus, calmness and relaxation will prevail.
Other than the above-mentioned benefits of yoga, it offers other benefits for your body such as:
Reducing your risks for injury.The yoga poses help in strengthening your muscles. With strong muscles, you get to become flexible. Hence, it decreases your risk of falling or obtaining injury and fracture.
Reduces stress.Yoga comforts the mind and body. With its duration, it clears the mind, helps the participant focus on positivity, and most importantly, lowers the stress level.
Increase inc Since yoga focuses on rhythmic breathing, it allows the person to learn the art of focusing.
Understand the connection between the body and the mind.In yoga, you will be asked to focus on all your energy in the movements or poses done. This allows your body to coordinate well with the brain. The longer practice then means a good collaboration between body and mind. Hence, it will then result in a strengthened relationship between the two.
Gain stamina and strength.Accordingly, the continued execution of the vigorous styles of yoga enables the person to gain strength and stamina.
Improve balance and stability.While consistently using your core muscles, it helps you improve your balance and stability.
Improves posture.The yoga poses are helpful as they open and strengthen the tight areas of the body like the muscles at the upper back of the body and the shoulder. This helps in good posture.
What are the other medical benefits of yoga?
Aside from strengthening your muscles, building a strong relationship between mind and body, improving posture and easing depression, yoga is found to be scientifically suitable for various medical conditions. Taken straight from the Yoga Journal, here are the medical benefits of yoga in a person’s body:
For a winter cold, experts will let you practice the Paramukta Yoga or the Yoga of Supreme Freedom. A certain pose, which is tortoise pose, helps in supporting the thymus while the downward-facing dog pose allows good blood flow to the sinuses.
If the practitioner is experiencing bronchial congestion, experts say that they can practice the Utrasana or the Camel Pose, Balasana, or the Child’s Pose, Gomukhasana, or the Cow Face Pose, and Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose. These poses open the chest and prevent pneumonia.
In the instance of having a fever, executing the Suksana, or the Easy Pose for about three minutes will help reduce the temperature.
Several practitioners conclude that the infections, flu, asthma, and other similar chronic infections are brought about by the disturbed and irregular habits of breathing. Thus, the ability to practice breathing and conditioning the lungs helps a lot in the prevention of these medical problems.
Since yoga is everything, it is also for everyone. You don’t have to become an expert in the field of Yoga or a yogi or a yogini to practice it. Slim or fat, old or young, you can do yoga every time. Just make sure to have a good guide to efficiently practice this and you’ll surely reap the healthy benefits of yoga. Here are the good poses that beginners might slowly try until they transition into the harder ones.
The child’s pose
This is a calming and a good default pose position. Use it to rest and refocus before you continue to the next pose. This is done if you want to feel a gentle stretch from your neck, through the spine, the shoulders, and neck. However, if you have knee injuries, ankle problems, high blood pressure, and if you are pregnant please skip this pose.
The downward facing dog
It strengthens the back, shoulders, and arms while it stretches the calves, hamstrings, and arches of your feet. It is helpful in the relief of back pain. However, this is not advisable for people who are having carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist problems. This is also not advisable for those who are having high blood pressure and women in the late stage of pregnancy.
The plank pose
This is a commonly-seen pose. This helps construct the hardness of the core, shoulders, arms, and legs. If you opt to build strength in your upper body or you simply want to tone your abs, this pose is generally for you. However, if you have low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, you are advised to skip this pose.
The four-limbed staff pose
If you are trying to learn and work on more advanced poses such as the arm balances and the inversions, you can do this pose. This pose is helpful in toning the abdomen and strengthens the arms and wrist. However, if you are pregnant, you have carpal tunnel syndrome, experiencing back pain, or having a shoulder injury, you are not advised to take this pose.
The cobra pose
This pose stretches the shoulders, chest, and abdomen. It also helps strengthen the back muscles while increasing spinal flexibility. However, if you have arthritis in the spine or neck, a low-back injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, you are highly advised to skip this pose.
The tree pose
It helps improve your balance. Also, it strengthens your core, calves, ankles, thighs, and spine. If you want to work on your balance and posture, this pose will help you out. However, if you have low blood pressure or any medical condition that could affect your balance, skip this pose.
The triangle pose
This pose helps in building strength in the legs. It stretches the hips, spine, chest, shoulders, groins, hamstrings, and calves. It also increases mobility in the hips and neck. This is great if you want to build endurance and strength. However, this pose has to be avoided if you are having low blood pressure and a headache.
The seated half-spinal twist pose
It increases the flexibility in your back. It also extends to your hips, chest, and shoulder. It typically relieves tension from the middle portion of your back. You can do this to deliver the tight muscles around your shoulders as well as your upper and lower back. However, if you have a back injury, this pose is not allowed for you.
Yoga as a science and art is a helpful tool to promote health. Amidst the pandemic, this is the best way to strengthen our immunity while relaxing our anxious minds. The free healthy benefits that it provides for both mind and body are very helpful for people, especially during these quarantine days.
Stay healthy. Stay safe. Lay down your mats now and start practicing the art of yoga for a healthy body and a healthy mind!