This is How Yoga Affects Your Body
It’s time to rethink Yoga. It not just about torsion, stretching, having a perfect body, or wearing hot yoga pants.Yoga is like mixing up your workout, meditation, and a spa at the same time, its giving close attention to your body, mind, and respiration This millenary practice includes yoga postures, or asanas, breathing techniques, (pranayama) chants, and meditation.
Through them the body experiences harmony, bringing the mind into a state of awareness and relaxation that will regulate your dopamine and serotonin balance and help you bump up your endorphins. It will lower your stress levels and keep your arms, abs, and legs toned.
Yoga practice is often seen by westerners as physical exercise used for weight reduction, muscle tone, general health, and increased flexibility. The fact is, it aids in relaxing the mind as well and can be as effective as psychotherapy in depression, social anxiety, substance abuse, and chronic pain. You can also enjoy it as a spiritual process, especially meditation, tantric yoga, or mantra reciting.
Definitively yoga improves muscular strength, overall health, and flexibility. Approximately more than 15.8 million people in the United States are engaging in popular yoga classes and workshops, from daily practices to yoga retreats, every person who tries it can feel the benefits and the effort involved in this practice. The male acceptance for this practice is gradually increasing, it has been popular with women of all ages. Any person can benefit from it: Hollywood star, baby-boomers, pregnant women, and children, everyone can have a positive impact from this practice. Let’s review some of the benefits:
• Whole body isometric body contractions and relaxation:
Increased heart rate and oxygen consumption.
• Stretching exercises:
Stretch and tone your joints and muscles, improving circulation for blood and oxygen to all parts of your body. Because some positions reverse blood flow to the brain is enhanced.
• Relaxation techniques:
Yoga can create a balance between the parasympathetic nervous system (the ones that make you relaxed and comfortable) and the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight and stress responses). This helps you prepare for daily stress.
• Breathing exercises:
These exercises have shown to decrease the autonomic malfunction or neuropathy.
• Weight loss:
Yoga can be as intense as resistance training (weights) or cardiovascular exercise. You will burn a lot of calories, and depending on the type of yoga, you can sweat like you never have.
• Increased Mood:
Clinical trials have discovered that yoga lessons can have the same benefits as psychotherapy or antidepressants on mood disorders, it helps to release more serotonin in the brain helping people dealing with depression.
• Yoga seems to increase reaction times and memory so yoga may be beneficial in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive dysfunctions. Yoga helps the cognitive functions of the mind.
• Yoga and posture:
Yoga can increase proprioception, our sense of where our bodies are located in the space, making it useful in post recovery interventions and helping overall posture. There are several postures that work balance and coordination which improves awareness in the brain. Here we shared some useful yoga poses to improve your posture:
• Yoga improves immune system response.
Helping in autoimmune disorders yoga helps people to balance their defenses against pathogen threats. Clinical trials illustrated this principle several times helping people avoid headaches and flu.
• Yoga and cardiovascular system:
Regular practice of yoga can help to increase lung function, oxygen absorption and circulation through the body. People recovering from lung or bronchial disease might help their body by replenishing and transforming those unhealthy cells.
• Lower glucose and sugar levels:
Studies illustrated the efficiency of 12-week yoga practice for less insulin and lower glucose levels, these changes in some studies were drastic, in others, moderate.
• Holistic vision of the world:
Even if you only use yoga for fitness and health you are going to learn how breathing, movement, and mental patterns interact together creating balance or imbalance.
• Lower blood pressure.
As a result of the asanas and respiration (pranayama) there is a significant effect on short and long term reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Most asanas used for relaxation, like child’s pose or shavasana (full relaxation, lying on the floor) can help in lowering blood pressure.
What is Yoga?
By: Andres Carvajal
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
[Last Updated on July 15th 2014]
Van Puymbroeck, M., Burk, B., Shinew, K., Cronan Kuhlenschmidt, M., & Schmid, A. (2013). Perceived health benefits from yoga among breast cancer survivors. American Journal Of Health Promotion: AJHP, 27(5), 308-315
Diamond, L. (2012). THE BENEFITS OF YOGA IN IMPROVING HEALTH. Primary Health Care, 22(2), 16-19.
Ross, A., & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 16(1), 3-12