MAIN BENEFITS OF YOGA
Yoga was originated in India and comes from a deep ancient tradition, bringing harmony between man and nature. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, which is concentrated on the union of the body, the breath, and the mind. The practice of yoga requires people to act and to be attentive to their actions. This may lead to a better understanding of Creator, to greater contentment, or to a new goal – a completely personal matter.
Yoga is stated as one of several traditional therapeutic systems by the World Health Organization. It is practiced widely across the globe and becoming more and more relevant in today’s world. It was investigated, yoga provides a beneficial effect on physical fitness, cognitive function, psychological disorders and cardiovascular conditions.
Yoga stretches includes holding relaxed poses with a natural breathing rhythm. This could be performed comfortably and easily not only by experienced but by beginners as well. Research studies report, yoga stretching reinforces immune functions and mental states. The stretching exercises significantly diminishes fasting blood glucose, insulin, and hemoglobin. Moreover, 90 minutes of yoga stretching practice enhances parasympathetic nerve activity and improves stress hormones.
In addition, yoga stretches significantly improves flexibility, which is an important component of fitness. According to scientists, regular yoga practice leads to flexibility and balance improvement, and provides a positive change in physical performance and well-being. Therefore, it is a useful physical activity, which increases life expectancy in the general population.
Pranayama is the dynamic process of breathing, when all attention is focused to the breath. Word pranayama means – gaining control over the vital life force. Pranayama allows controlling respiratory process totally or deliberately. Combining yoga breathing with asanas removes the obstructions which impede the flow of prana – the vital life force.
Yoga breathing reduces sympathetic activity due to broncho‐dilatation by correcting the abnormal breathing patterns.
Yogic breathing includes three types of breathing: abdominal, diaphragmatic, and thoracic breathing. Regular yogic breathing exercises lead to the use of respiratory muscles more
efficiently with improving its tone and vital capacity of the lung. Research found, one year of regular yoga practice, involving combination of pranayama, yoga asanas and meditation, significantly increase the pulmonary function parameters.
Yoga and stress
Stress has negative impact on humans, which not only includes headache, blood pressure, and obesity but also includes memory loss, skin conditions (e.g. eczema), digestive problems and etc. There are numerous ways to relieve stress, but yoga is considered as one of the most effective ways to do so. Yoga effectively calms the mind, relaxes the body, and works on a much deeper level to create a stronger inner self, which builds resilience toward the negative effects of the stress.
Carefully selected therapeutic asanas help to release a tension from the muscular and nervous systems, and discomfort from the body. Even simplified Pranayama (yoga breathing) techniques help to promote inner peace and cheerfulness. In addition, findings of the research studies suggest, yoga significantly reduces the perceived stress and improves the sleep quality.
In conclusion, yoga is a cost-effective tool to manage the stress and improve the quality of sleep, which leads to the improvement in overall health. Numerous research investigated that regular yoga practitioners demonstrate the improvement in pulmonary functions, cardiorespiratory fitness, endurance, and flexibility. Therefore, the regular yoga practice enhances the physical health of yoga practitioner.