Many people are crazy about yoga. The reason most people practice yoga is that it makes them feel better and feel more in shape. The different poses and postures make their body flexible and healthy. Yoga for most is the best natural way to relax and unwind. If you are interested in keeping your body
in shape, this might be the best exercise for you.
Did you know that yoga could help fight certain illness that may come your way? There has been research that proved yoga helps you to control anxiety, reduces asthma, arthritis, blood pressure, back pain, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, diabetes, headaches, stress, and more.
Yoga has a lot of benefits and advantages. All in a day’s work, it can reduce tension and stress. Of course, after a heavy day, you will feel that your muscles have been stuck up and you will feel wasted.
If you do practice yoga, you may see an increase in your self-esteem. It is important to gain confidence so that you may face people without worry. Yoga is good for the body in increasing your muscle tone, strength, stamina, and flexibility. If you are too heavy, or conscious about your body shape, yoga can help you lower your body fat and help you stay in shape.
Yoga exercises can also burn excess fat and give you the desired figure that you want.
If you need time to relax and forget your responsibilities, then yoga will be good for improving your concentration and can enhance your creativity. Yoga helps you to think positively because it can help keep you free of your anxieties. If you have a fresh mind, you can easily think good thoughts.
Your body needs to relax often. Sometimes, at the end of the workday, you an feel exhausted. After some of the hardest days, we may not find time to unwind because troubles at work are still on our mind. Yoga helps you to clear your mind and create a sense of calmness and well-being.
Yoga exercises help you improve your blood circulation. Your organs and veins need to be exercised for them to function properly. Yoga can help stimulate your immune system, which can help keep you free from diseases.
Some people practice yoga to get enlightened. They believe that yoga will help them lift their spirit and keep them relieved. Yoga works differently for people, be it spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental, or physical.
Many people think that yoga is only for spiritual, or religious, people. But that myth is wrong. Even if you are not religious, you can do yoga. You will see and feel the difference, and at the same time find out how it works for you.
Due to the pressure and demands of life, we are stressed out and forget the essences of our lives. We tend to lose touch with the ones we used to spend time with, even ourselves.
We find ourselves rushing most of the time with deadlines and hassles at our jobs. This leaves us little time for our minds to wander and have that physical awareness.
These are a few things that yoga can provide. Occasionally, dedicate some time to relax and unwind, which only yoga can do.
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India but it has taken the attention of the west only in the late 19th century. Before it became popular, people in the United States thought that yoga was a mere peculiar activity invented to distort the body to come up with different positions for some strange reasons. Even until now, some people are still skeptical about yoga and refuse to undertake it. Sad to say, these people do not know the benefits they are missing.
If there is anytime that is best to begin a yoga practice, it is now. There are so many reasons why it is important for you to relive your life this very instant and yoga can be that ultimate solution.
First things first, not all myths about yoga are true. To set things straight, yoga is not a completely religious practice so you could set aside the religious issue right at the start. Yoga is also not about mind over body; it is about their “unity”, which is in fact the literal translation of the word “yoga” itself. The practice is not about repetitively reaching your toes as many times as possible; it is about proper breathing and mental focus while maintaining a certain position. There is nothing superstitious about it. In fact, modern science has already long confirmed the benefits of practicing yoga and the list becomes longer as more researches are being conducted year after year on the benefits of yoga.
Yoga is not only an art and a science. It is a lifestyle, an exercise, a therapy, a preventive cure and a medical treatment all rolled into one. Yoga is a complete way of living that can improve your life and you as a person. It is the perfect physical and mental therapy to have the most blissful life you once thought you could never experience. That is why beginning yoga now will bring you that much closer to reaping the benefits of the practice as early as possible.
Yoga has a many physical benefits to offer. It increases the flexibility of the joints, tendons and ligaments of the body. It also tones your body absent the dreadful lifting of weights. The most apparent effect of yoga on the body is loss of weight that is why yoga is also a popular exercise. Yoga is in fact the most holistic form of exercise. It exercises those body parts that are not consciously worked out upon even by gym addicts.
Another revolutionary advantage of practicing yoga is its health benefits to the body. It massages and stimulates all organs of the body. It in effect becomes the perfect preventive measure to avoid diseases, including the life-threatening ones. By becoming more attuned to the body and what the body is telling you, some yoga practitioners have also attained a heightened awareness to impeding illnesses. Yoga also detoxifies the body because all the stretching makes the blood circulate to every part of the body, so every part of the body gets the right amount of oxygen supply. In fact, it has been known to relieve or improve different kinds of medical conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, varicose veins, obesity, respiration problems, body pain and chronic fatigue. Of recent, researchers have found incredible effects of yoga on HIV-diagnosed persons and the benefits are truly promising.
Most of the prevalent diseases in urban areas originate from a common problem and that is stress. Yoga can help to alleviate stress that work or school may bring you. It also has other mental benefits such as reducing body tension and boosting self-esteem. It increases self-awareness, focuses attention and relaxes, calms and clears the mind. It is because it allows the mind to concentrate on the self and the body, which brings about positive effects including improvement of mood and attitude to a better you. As a whole, it brings your emotions into equilibrium, giving you a more positive disposition in life.
But the truth of the matter is that these are mere “side effects” of the real benefits of yoga. Yoga makes you learn more about yourself, your mind and your body. It will give you a sense of enlightenment, where every inch of you meet in a dimensional space where everything is ecstatically immaculate. Its goal is to fuse every part of you, the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels. In fact, it is no secret that yogis are generally happy people with a zest and appreciation for life.
The world is a busy place. Busy people usually live a routinary life that sometimes, they forget to take care of themselves. In fact, modern day diseases are mostly caused by lifestyle and work. Most people who acquire these illnesses are too busy to exercise and give time to themselves. To become a better person, you must act on it and the best time to do that is right now.
Change your life by changing your lifestyle and the best beginning could be through the practice of yoga. So, before saying “no”, try giving yoga a shot and you may realize that it is the final answer you have been unknowingly searching for all along.
By Bill Nolan
Every Monday evening for the past six weeks, I have left the treasures of Western civilization and headed East. OK, so it is only two blocks from my home and only one of them is east, but go with me here. I have become a sojourner in a new time and space. I have been instructed to configure myself in ways previously thought to be impossible given my physical structure. I have begun the practice of yoga.
Now let me dispel a few misconceptions: There is nothing un-Christian about practicing yoga. My eternal soul is in no danger, at least not from this practice. And there is nothing particularly Christian about practicing yoga, either. Its roots are in Hindu and later Buddhist philosophical and theological thought; the ultimate purpose of yoga is to prepare for meditation—in other words, all movements are preparation for the experience of stillness. Thus, while a benefit of yoga might be increased physical fitness, the goal of yoga is spiritual enlightenment.
The first Monday night I attended class I asked if we had to sit “Indian style.” I thought I was supposed to bend at the knees in order to touch my toes. And every time I was supposed to inhale, I was exhaling and vice-versa. I couldn’t have been doing things more wrong and I was frustrated because everyone else had legs that crossed the way they were supposed to, could reach the floor easily and knew how to breathe correctly. If I hadn’t already paid the non-refundable fee for the eight-week course, my first formal yoga class might also have been my last.
Of course, any spiritual practice that seeks a greater awareness of my body, mind and spirit will take practice, patience and self-discipline. And it can be a frustrating experience because it never goes exactly as I map it out. Too often, my best efforts fall short because perfection—whether that be God’s definitive “yes” in answer to my prayer for happiness or the unmatched quality of my “downward dog” pose—is the only acceptable outcome.
Yoga has taught me much about my quest for spiritual perfection. First, no such perfection exists. That makes letting go of that goal a bit easier. Second, the mere awareness of my physical being is itself a path to enlightenment. I am more aware of my body, of how it moves and bends and takes in and expels oxygen. I am conscious of the rhythmic, if not always artistic, connections between my movements and my stillness and am more aware than ever of the need for balance in both. Third, there is a power and grace that is found in humility. Yoga is a humbling experience, not because it reminds me of what my body cannot do, but because it reminds me that if my soul cannot be silent, I cannot hear the voice of God. If my mind cannot be aware of my breath, my whole being will be out of sync. And if I cannot experience the One that is within me, I will never experience the One in another. Those are the insights from yoga so far. So I just signed up for six more weeks. I have so much more to learn…
A recent randomized, controlled, six-month trial of yoga practice among healthy seniors found significant benefits in physical health but no improvement in cognitive tests. It appears that a regular practice of hatha yoga does result in better health and even weight loss, the researchers found.
Yoga is a commonly practiced, mind-body approach that has components centering around meditation, breathing, and activity or postures. In recent US surveys of adults, 7.5% reported having used yoga at least once in their lifetime and 3.8%–5.1% reported having used it in the previous 12 months.1,2 Iyengar yoga, one of the active, or Hatha, yoga techniques, is a system for developing physical and mental well-being through stretching of all muscle groups for strength, flexibility, and physical balance. A person assumes a series of stationary positions that use isometric contraction and relaxation of different muscle groups to create specific body alignments. There is also a deep relaxation component. Iyengar yoga is amenable to easy adaptation for elders through modifications of the poses and the use of props, such as blankets and chairs.
The results of the study surprised the researchers. While there was no improvement in cognitive skills among the regular yoga practitioners, there were significant gains in other measures of health.
The improvements in physical measures directly related to the yoga intervention are not surprising. Yoga practice involves training on poses very similar to these outcome measures. One-legged balance may have some health implications, such as risk of falls, and has been shown previously to be improved in healthy older people practicing tai chi, another mind-body technique of which balance exercises are a component.61,62
Though this study did show that yoga produced beneficial effects on quality-of-life measures, the mechanism of action of these improvements may not relate directly to the yoga. Socialization, placebo, and self-efficacy effects are other potential mechanisms. The exercise group controlled for socialization to some degree, but there was less of a class format in the exercise group. At least 1 previous study has suggested that exercise-related improvements in stress were secondary to class participation and not to improvements in fitness. Future yoga intervention studies will need to carefully control for the class aspect that may be beneficial to everyone, but especially seniors. There is also likely some placebo effect related to the yoga intervention. One group has already shown that psychological benefits of an aerobic exercise intervention in a group of healthy young adults could be increased simply by telling subjects that the exercise program was specifically designed to improve psychological well-being.64 The placebo effect, expectancy, and self-efficacy may have a significant impact65,66 and are difficult to adequately control for in behavioral interventions that are necessarily non-blinded. Even reported cognitive improvements related to transcendental meditation may be related to expectancy of subjects recruited for trials.
New York yoga instructor Sadie Nardini, a columnist for many top Internet yoga sites, demonstrates a vinyasa routine that can help you lose weight quickly and easily. Sadie calls this a “calorie torching” sequence that “tones and stretches you whole bod.”
Sadie critics yoga for keeping her weight down and giving her a healthy, flexible body.
Hindu religious leaders have strongly criticised a Catholic spiritual teacher for encouraging her pupils to find God through yoga.
Winnie Young, 96, shown above with her teacher and one of the world’s leading yoga practioners, Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, claims to have spent most of her life teaching yoga.
The founder of a national yoga institute in 1975, Young said her institute practices Hatha yoga, which advocates controlled breathing to calm the body and cleanse the mind in an effort to achieve nirvana, an elevated mental state.
She questioned why people misunderstand yoga to be a religion. Read more