Regardless of whether you have done the ‘Surya Namaskar’ pose or the ‘Downward Dog’, chances are that you are feeling relaxed!
In the last few years, the medicinal and scientific advantages of doing Yoga have been espoused by leading medical practitioners. There is no doubt that this discipline has captured the imagination of everyone from Wall Street bankers to Hollywood celebs.
Practicing Yoga involves a combination of breathing exercises that are done in unison with stretching postures. All the Yoga poses have been created to maximize relaxation and reduce stress levels.
In this article, we are going to explore seven major benefits of doing Yoga that has been backed by science. We also look at what leading medical institutions have to say about Yoga. If you are someone looking to add Yoga to your daily fitness regimen, you should be interested in what we have to say.
Yoga: Ancient History and Origins
The discipline of Yoga first emerged in India and dates back to 2700 BC. The word has originated from the Sanskrit term ‘Yuj’ which stands for unity and harmony between individual and worldly consciousness.
According to experts, the modern interpretation of Yoga ties together the two entities- mind and body. Yoga involves three main pillars or elements-
The synergy of all these three aspects helps in promoting the mental and physical well-being of an individual. According to Yoga practitioners, the discipline helps in improving flexibility, wellness, immunity, endurance, better sleep, and mental health.
Different individuals try to pursue yoga for different reasons. While some want to build core strength, others look at improving their mental health. This becomes an important factor when it comes to choosing a yoga studio that is able to fulfill the goals.
According to a leading proponent of yoga in Portland, Oregon, the discipline has become very popular among the American population. While Yoga centers are mushrooming all over the country, it is important to select the ones that are experts at the craft and have the best trainers.
List of 7 Benefits of Practising Yoga that are Supported by Science
- Builds Strength, Flexibility, and Balance-
According to experts, one of the biggest benefits of Yoga is how it builds strength and endurance. A lot of Yoga postures are all about improving the flexibility of the various body parts.
Holding a pose, while breathing for a set period can help in improving the muscle mass and volume in a specific limb.
Yoga poses can help in improving blood flow to muscles. If you are looking to build the strength of your ‘core’, yoga is one of the best approaches for you.
- Eases Body Pains (Back and Arthritis)-
The American College of Physicians prescribes Yoga as the first line of preventive defense for patients that complain of back pain.
A study conducted by the John Hopkins Institute found that Yoga helped swollen muscles and joints relax in Arthritis patients. Stretching and aiming for flexibility allow for the release of bone and muscle tension.
Back pain has become a major concern ever since most of us started working online or remotely. By practicing yoga you will be able to prevent back pain while working from home.
- Manages Stress Levels and Improves Mental Health-
Therapists often recommend meditation and breathing exercises for individuals that are suffering from mental health concerns. Yoga practitioners point out how breathing exercises can help calm the mind.
If you are someone that is dealing with mental health issues like depression, stress, or anxiety, you should look to start practicing Yoga daily.
If you are suffering from depression, you can join a yoga studio that works towards improving mental health. They have courses that are specifically designed to address mental health concerns.
- Aids Better Sleep and Counters Insomnia-
According to Yoga trainers, having a small Yoga routine just before going off to sleep helps. Sleeping is all about calming your senses and gently easing your body towards rest.
Yoga’s breathing exercises and meditative postures help in creating a serene space of mental calm. Your worries, tensions, and stresses go away leading you to enjoy a blissful night of sleep. Unlike taking sleeping pills, this is a natural and organic approach.
In other words, it does not make you dependent or develop an addiction to medications in curing insomnia.
- Promotes Better Heart Health and Prevents Strokes-
Maintaining a healthy heart is all about regulating the body’s blood flow and pressure. High BP leads to heart issues and attacks. Yoga has been found to help in lowering blood pressure.
This in turn has the effect of slowing down the beating rate of the heart. Scientists have also concluded that Yoga has been found to lower cholesterol levels. This reduces heart health risks. People spend on expensive heart medications.
They can rather start integrating yoga into their daily routine and allow the body to heal itself naturally without any external help.
- Improves Posture and Personality-
Look around you. You see so many individuals slouching or having a curved back. Yoga postures help in stretching the core muscles and bones in the body.
Over a period, you get your posture sorted and this helps your personality. Many people who have been practicing Yoga for a few years have also gone on record stating how it improves the awareness of the body.
If you are someone who is looking to pursue a life as a model or an actor, you need to have the best upright posture. Yoga can help you achieve and maintain that comfortably.
- Increases IQ, Focus, and Concentration Levels-
There is a reason why Wall Street bankers are lining outside Yoga centers. The reflective thinking brought upon through meditation exercises helps calm the brain.
This in turn allows for better and improved focus, concentration levels, and yes, a higher IQ! You will start comprehending things better and your ability to recall will also gradually improve over time.
This is recommended for high-ranking corporate professionals and start-up founders who deal with stress and are unable to devote a lot of time to physical well-being.
What does Science say about the Benefits of Yoga?
In this article, we have tried to list down seven benefits of Yoga that are supported by science. The American Association of Physicians as well as the John Hopkins Institute have carried out extensive research studies on Yoga and its applications.
This includes the US Military as well as the National Institute of Health. Most governmental and private organizations are validating the results of Yoga on their study groups. Up until this point, most are in agreement that Yoga helps in-
- Men and Women Reproductive Health
- Chronic Pain
There is no doubt that opinions on Yoga are divided. While one school supports its scientific considerations, others consider it as merely a placebo effect. However, recent studies in recognized and accepted scientific circles are pushing for Yoga to be integrated into the day-to-day regimen of human beings.
The Final Word
There is no doubt that practicing Yoga helps in improving the overall quality of life. You feel much happier, relaxed, and tension-free after practicing Yoga for a few months at a stretch.
Being part of a Yoga training group can also help you share your thoughts and build a community-centric feeling.
If you have any other questions, you would like us to share on Yoga, please let us know in the comments below. We will be more than happy to address as many of your concerns as possible.