“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” –Buddha
We all know what yoga is! But what we know about yoga is it all or is there more? Yoga is not just a group of physical exercises but a spiritual and mental experience which is why it is indeed the healthiest of all.
Yoga literally translates to ‘to control’, ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. Although the origin of yoga has been debated so far and there is no chronological fact other than that yoga was developed in India. That is right! Yoga, in a way, is the legacy of India. It was later introduced and became popular in the western part of the world which was around the mid-19th century. While the western side of the world saw yoga as more of a physical exercise, Indians perceive yoga as a spiritual & physical experience.
Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
Despite how uncomfortable yoga postures seems, it is a great therapy & helps improve many medical conditions. Yoga is not just another work out because it helps in improving the emotional and mental stability of a person along with the physical health benefits. Let’s take a look at some benefits of yoga:
Physical Health Benefits of Yoga
Improves your body posture & flexibility
Everyone wants a flexible body and this is the most common & known benefit of yoga. Apart from making your body flexible, yoga helps improve your body posture as well. If you work for long hours on the desk, you know what it does to your spine! And that back pain! Well, yoga can help you with that by improving your body posture.
Builds Muscle Strength
Weak muscles can result in conditions like arthritis & back pain. Yoga is the best way to prevent these falls. It helps with toning muscles which prevent frequent straining of muscles. People go to the gym to improve the strength of their body because everyone wants to physically strong. Yoga helps you balance the strength with flexibility.
Increases Blood Flow
Yoga can help the blood to regulate blood to all parts of the body properly. With exercises like headstand, the venous blood from the lower part of the body to flow back to your heart, where it can be pumped back to the lungs to be oxygenated.
Increases Metabolism & Helps with Weight Reduction
Yoga helps in increasing your metabolism which results in faster weight loss & management. You can have that summer body without the hustle of going to the gym.
Helps with Gastrointestinal Health
Studies have shown that with regular practice of yoga, indigestion can be cured. Other stomach related issues can also be cured with the help of yoga. Asanas like Vajrasana helps with improving digestion.
Helps Relieve Migraines
Yoga helps to stimulate the vagus nerve, which has been shown to be effective in relieving migraines. With the modern lifestyle, migraines are becoming more common & frequent. Yoga can not cure a migraine but help to reduce the migraine frequency & intensity a lot.
Helps Increase Pain Tolerance
Yoga helps in relieving chronic pains, which is a known fact! But very few know that yoga also helps out body become more pain tolerant. Want to be stronger? Start practicing Yoga!
Improves Lung Functioning
With the increasing pollution and today’s lifestyle, conditions like asthma & sinus have become really common. 7 out of every 10 people have breathing problems. Yoga helps with respiratory problems & increases the capacity of the lungs.
Helps With PCOS
PCOS is a really big problem for women these days. The cause of PCOS remains unknown, but there are many problems because of PCOS like acne, weight gain, anxiety, depression, pelvic pain, & so much more. Yoga helps ease those symptoms and cure PCOS.
Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
Helps Fight Depression
Yoga helps reduce depression. Apart from the meditation technique which helps calm our thoughts, yoga helps to decrease cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone influences levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter often associated with depression.
Helps increase Self Esteem
Chronic low self-esteem is becoming a common problem these days. We have all the qualities yet underestimate ourselves. If you deal with similar issues and handle this negatively by working too hard, sleep too much, overeat or self-harm. Yoga can help you change your aura to positive and deal with situations more positively.
Helps You Fight Addictions
Yoga helps recover from addictions. In today’s world, there are many people who are victims of substance abuse. Most of the people when asked to quit give reasons relating to how it calms their mind. Well, Yoga helps calms one’s mind and help fight the recovery process by increasing self-control.
Helps You Sleep Better
With the hectic lifestyle these days, the stress levels are increasing which is why many people have started to have sleep-related issues. Aasanas like Shavasana & Pranayama, sleep problems can be solved. If you are sleeping too much or too less, your body needs energy and the problem can be solved by these yoga postures.
Helps Cope Up With Schizophrenia Symptoms
Schizophrenia is an extremely difficult illness to treat. Yoga can not cure schizophrenia but, it can definitely help cope up with the symptoms. Schizophrenia deeply impacts ones social cognition, yoga helps improve social cognition. It helps the patients to recognize facial expressions more easily, understand their negative emotions & be more aware of one’s surroundings.
Helps Coping Up With Anxiety
Social Anxiety, GAD, PTSD & Panic Disorder are the main types of anxiety disorders. Yoga helps to cope up with anxiety as it helps you relieve the stress, be more aware of your surroundings, be more self-confident & relax you. It helps us be more positive when our mind is at peace & we are more self-aware.
While yoga is still perceived as physical & spiritual by people, it is much more than that. Yoga controls body & mind functions and works on the principle of energy in the body through the science of pranayama(breathe). It is known to help with relaxation, reduce stress & improve many medical conditions. Yoga helps to relax, be more self-aware, be more positive, & achieve self-actualization.