You probably know some of the many benefits of yoga if you are a practicing yoga teacher. You may feel more relaxed and comfortable. If you have tried explaining yoga’s benefits to a novice, explanations such as “It increases prana flow” might be too confusing or skeptical.
Western science has begun to understand and support the ancient traditions’ ability to improve happiness and health. You may feel more motivated to attend your practice once you better understand them.
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. I was initially concerned about multiple sclerosis and a brain tumor but then realized that thoracic outlet Syndrome caused my symptoms. This is a nerve blockage in my neck, chest, and neck.
Despite my discomfort, I was able to see how valuable my condition could have been during my trip. I could 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 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 Chennai training 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.
My Indian teachers, American teachers, and my exploration have made my chest more flexible and my posture more stable. Thanks to these techniques, I’ve also been free from symptoms for over a year.
ways yoga improves your health
This experience inspired me and other scientific studies in India and the West to look into the science and find out how yoga can help prevent and treat disease. Here’s what I discovered.
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 can do seemingly impossible poses. You will likely see 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 lead to back pain. The inflexibility of connective tissue and muscles, such as fascia or ligaments, can also cause poor posture.
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 lift weights at the gym.
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 daily. 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 standard 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 absorbs a fresh supply. 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,–require movement. This is the only way they can get their nutrients. You’ll keep your disks flexible if you have a balanced asana practice that includes backbends and forward bends. Yoga improves flexibility over time, which is significant for spinal health.
It 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, especially those vulnerable to osteoporotic breaks. According to an unpublished California State University Los Angeles study, yoga led to higher bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability to lower cortisol levels (see Number 11) may help maintain bone calcium.
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, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, and Shoulderstand encourage blood to flow from the pelvis and legs to the Heart, which can be pumped into the lungs for fresh oxygenation. This can be helpful if you have swelling in the legs due to heart problems or kidney disease. 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 clot-promoting protein in the blood. This could decrease strokes and heart attacks, as blood clots often cause these fatalities.
It boosts your immunity and drains your 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.