In Sanskrit, ‘Yuji’ means yoke or union. Yoga is the ancient Indian practice that brings together the mind, soul, and body. It is a combination of breathing exercises, poses, and meditations. Yoga helps to reduce stress and tends to relax tension.
Yoga can do wonders in your life. It comes with many benefits for both your body and your mind. Yoga is really beneficial for our modern busy lifestyle. It can give you a retreat from your regular chaotic lives. From a typical apartment in New York City’s Times Square to a London’s apartment or in an Indian yoga ashram, yoga will give you intense benefits no matter where you are practicing it.
What Is Yoga
Yoga is a range of physical, mental as well as spiritual practices that was first originated in India. If we trace it back it will lead us to the pre-Vedic era, in the Indus Valley Civilization in 3000 BCE. Then, it became popular all around the globe because of its ample benefits. Yoga is not only an exercise form, but it is a process of livelihood. If you practice yoga regularly, then it can make your life a little better than before.
Three different religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism talk about different yoga forms and life goals. Most likely, around the 5th or 6th century BCE in aesthetic India, Yoga studies developed. According to tradition, one will find that there are almost seven types of yoga. The basic and classical yoga that deals with the Astanga (eight limbs) and spirituality, Buddhist yoga, or dhyana, Jain Yoga, Advaita Vedanta yoga, and others. But nowadays in the Western world, Yoga is generally denoted as exercise. These modern yogas are termed as Hatha yoga, which is the 5th one of all the yoga types.
Types of Yoga
Well, according to yoga science there are several types of yoga.
- Hatha Yoga is one of the most common styles, it is a combination of many popular styles. Hatha yoga fully focuses on breathing exercises and is more of physical yoga.
- Then there are Asanas. Asanas are usually some type of possessor postures of your body. Here you need to keep your body in those postures for 10 seconds and then back to normal. Asanas usually end with Savasana that is for the resting period.
6 Hidden Powers of Yoga
This article tells you about 6 most evidence-based benefits that yoga provides to you.
1. Yoga Can Decrease Stress
Yoga is mostly known to promote relaxation and ease up stress. In fact, some studies have shown that yoga can decrease the level of the primary stress hormone, Cortisol.
A study has demonstrated that a three-month yoga program can significantly reduce stress by lowering the level of cortisol. Therefore, it can also lower the level of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
When compared to other methods of reducing stress like meditation and pranayama’s, a remarkable result has been found. It has been found that yoga helps to improve the quality of life and mental health more accurately.
2. Yoga Provides Relief from Anxiety
Some people start yoga to cope up with stress and feelings of anxiety. Interestingly there is not much evidence that can surely show that yoga helps to reduce anxiety.
Research has been done with some women who had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by anxiety, fear, and stress on the exposure of some traumatic events. After practicing yoga for 10 weeks 52% of the women, no longer even met the criteria of PTSD.
Though it is not clear how yoga can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Moreover, yoga can emphasize one to be present at the moment and also helps to find a sense of peace.
3. Yoga May Reduce Inflammation
There are some studies that show that yoga may reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a normal response to immunity. But sometimes chronic inflammation can develop a disease called pro-inflammatory diseases that can cause heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer.
The research was done with 218 participants in 2015. These people were divided into two groups, one who practiced yoga regularly and those who did not. These two groups then performed a moderate exercise to induce the level of stress in their body. Individuals that practiced yoga had shown a lower level of inflammation than those who did not practice yoga.
Although more research is needed in this matter to know the beneficial effects of yoga on the inflammation. Many studies have indicated that yoga can protect against certain diseases that are generally caused by chronic inflammation.
4. Yoga Can Improve Heart Health
Yoga can pump blood throughout the body and supply nutrients to the tissues and the heart. It can improve the health of the heart and therefore, it can also reduce the risk of heart diseases.
A study was organized with 60 participants over 40 years of age. It had been found that participants who had practiced yoga for 5 years had lower blood pressure and lower pulse rate. We all know that high blood pressure is the main cause of heart diseases like heart attacks, strokes.
Yoga can lower blood pressure and can also reduce the problem of heart diseases. Participants that practiced yoga showed 23% decreases in their total cholesterol level and almost 26% of reduction in bad LDL cholesterol level.
5. Yoga Improves the Quality of The Life
Well, yoga is a popular therapy that can improve the quality of life among individuals as well as it can boost mood and fatigue. Moreover, it can also reduce the symptoms in cancer patients.
Yoga can decrease the pain in women who are suffering from breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Studies have shown that these women who practice yoga regularly faceless pain and less fatigue compared to those who do not practice yoga.
Yoga can improve sleep quality and also improves spiritual wellbeing, treats social anxiety, and may fight depression in combination with the traditional treatment methods.
6. Yoga improves Flexibility and Balance of The Body
Yoga can improve the flexibility and balance of the body. Some specific yoga poses can target the muscles of the body and therefore, increase flexibility. Yoga can significantly lose body weight in people who are not able to go to the gym.
Practicing yoga regularly can improve balance and mobility in older adults. A study was done on 26 male athletes in 2013. It has been found that yoga can significantly increase the flexibility of the bones and muscles compared to those who do not practice yoga.
If you practice yoga for 15-30 minutes a day, it will make a big difference in your muscles and balance. Yoga can improve breathing; therefore, it can build endurance and optimize your performances and keep the heart and lungs healthy.
There are ample health benefits of yoga. Yoga can improve your mental as well as physical conditions. If you incorporate yoga in your daily lifestyle, it can enhance your health, can increase your strength, and also can improve the flexibility of your body.
Yoga can reduce stress symptoms, depression, and anxiety. As it increases mindfulness, it will eventually help you control your eating habit and will treat diabetes, eating disorders, and it will also aid weight loss.
You just need to find a calm place and practice yoga just a few times per week. It will bring a noticeable change in your life in just two to three weeks.