You’ve likely noticed the many benefits of yoga if you’re a committed yoga practitioner. Perhaps you feel more relaxed, at ease and sleeping better. Suppose you have ever tried to explain yoga’s benefits to a beginner. In that case, explanations such as “It increases prana flow” or “It raises your energy levels” might be too vague or skeptical.
Western science is beginning to give us concrete clues about how yoga can improve our health, ease aches and pains, prevent sickness, and help us avoid it altogether. These concepts will help you be more motivated to get on your mat. You’ll also feel less embarrassed when someone asks why you do yoga.
What I have learned about the benefits of yoga
I have felt yoga’s healing powers. In 2002, while on a trip to India to study yoga therapy, I noticed tingling and numbness in my right hand. After considering other possibilities, such as multiple sclerosis and brain tumors, I realized that thoracic outlet Syndrome caused my symptoms. This is a nerve blockage in the neck and chest.
Despite my discomfort, I was able to see how valuable my condition could have been during my trip. I was able to submit to various yoga therapy centers for treatment and evaluation by the experts I had arranged to watch. I could then try their ideas and see if they worked for me. Although it wasn’t a scientific experiment, I knew that hands-on learning could help me understand things I may not otherwise be able to.
My experiment was very instructive. S. Nagarathna (M.D.) from Vivekananda Ashram, outside of Bangalore, recommended that I do breathing exercises where I imagine bringing prana, or vital energy, into my right upper chest. Asana, Pranayama and meditation were some other therapies. I also received lectures on philosophy and various Kriya (internal cleansing) practices. A.G. Mohan, his wife Indra and their practice in Chennai suggested that I stop doing Salamba Sirsasana Headstand and Salamba Sarvangasana in favor of gentle asanas that are coordinated with the breath. S.V. S.V.
Improves your flexibility
Yoga is known for its flexibility, one of the most important benefits. You won’t be capable of touching your toes or doing a backbend during your first class. You’ll soon notice a gradual lifting, and then you will be able to do seemingly impossible poses. You will likely notice that your aches and pains begin to disappear. This is not a coincidence. Incorrect alignment of the shinbones and thigh can cause strain to the knee joint. Tightening your hamstrings may cause a flattening or deterioration of the lumbar spine. This can cause back pain. Poor posture can also be caused by inflexibility of connective tissue and muscles, such as fascia or ligaments.
Increases muscle strength
Strong muscles are more than just a good look. They protect us against diseases like arthritis and back pain and prevent older adults from falling. Yoga helps you to balance strength and flexibility. You might lose flexibility if you only go to the gym and lift weights.
Correct your posture
Your head is a big, heavy bowling ball. Your neck and back muscles will work less to support the head if balanced over a straight spine. However, moving it a few inches in front of your spine can strain those muscles. It’s easy to get tired if you hold that forward-leaning bowling ball for 8 or 12 hours per day. Fatigue is not the only problem. Bad posture can lead to problems in the back, neck, muscles and joints. Your body might compensate for your slump by flattening your normal inward curves in the neck and lower back. This can lead to pain and degenerative arthritis.
Prevents joint and cartilage breakdown
Yoga allows you to move your joints fully every time you do it. This can prevent degenerative arthritis and reduce disability by “squeezing out” cartilage areas that aren’t being used. The joint cartilage acts like a sponge. It only gets new nutrients when squeezed out, and a new supply is absorbed. Neglected areas of cartilage may eventually become dry and expose the bone beneath, much like worn brake pads.
Protect your spine
Spinal discs, the shock absorbers between vertebrae that can compress and herniate nerves,–crave movement. This is the only way they can get their nutrients. If you have a balanced asana practice that includes backbends and forward bends, you’ll keep your disks flexible. Yoga improves flexibility over time, and this benefit is especially important for spinal health.
Betters your bone health
It is well-known that weight-bearing exercises strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis. It would help if you lifted your weight to do many postures in yoga. Some, such as Adho Mukha Svanasana Downward Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, help strengthen the arm bones, which are especially vulnerable to osteoporotic breaks. According to an unpublished study at California State University Los Angeles, yoga practice led to higher bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability lower cortisol levels (see Number 11) may help maintain calcium in the bones.
Your blood flow is increased.
Yoga can get your blood pumping. Yoga can improve circulation, particularly in the hands and feet. Your cells will function better when you have more oxygen from yoga. Twisting poses are believed to draw venous blood out of internal organs, allowing oxygenated blood to flow in after the twist is released. Inverted positions such as Headstand and Adho Mukha Vrksasana and Shoulderstand encourage blood to flow from the pelvis and legs to the Heart, where it can be pumped into the lungs for fresh oxygenation. If you have swelling in the legs due to heart problems or kidney disease, this can be helpful. Yoga can also increase hemoglobin levels, and red blood cell counts, transporting oxygen to the tissues. It thins the blood by making platelets more sticky and reducing the amount of clot-promoting protein in the blood. This could lead to fewer strokes and heart attacks, as blood clots often cause these fatalities.
It boosts immunity and drains lymph.
You can increase lymph drainage by contracting and stretching muscles, moving organs, and doing yoga poses. This allows the lymphatic system to fight infection, eliminate cancerous cells and dispose of toxic waste products.
Your heart rate will increase.
Regular aerobic exercise can lower your chances of suffering from a heart attack. It also helps to relieve depre. Although not all yoga can be aerobic, if you practice it vigorously or take Ashtanga or flow classes, it can increase your heart rate to the aerobic range. Even yoga that doesn’t raise your heart rate can help improve cardiovascular conditioning. Yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate and increase endurance. It can also improve your maximal uptake of oxygen while exercising. These are all signs of better aerobic conditioning. One study showed that subjects who were only taught Pranayama could exercise more with less oxygen.
Reduce your blood pressure
Yoga might be beneficial for those with high blood pressure. Two studies on hypertension were published in the British medical journal The Lancet. They compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) to lay down on a couch simply. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point decrease in systolic and a 15 percent drop in diastolic blood pressure. The top number is the highest.