Yoga is not just a method of practicing and teaching on a physical level, but a lifestyle which includes healthy habits and physical culture that improves strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. Over 15 million people in the world practicing this ancient tradition would probably confirm that yoga's mental and physical powers provide many benefits on an energetic and psychological level. Are you one of them?
Adding just a few poses to your daily routine (both active or passive) can help you cope better with stress, cultivate mindfulness and shift your awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions. How is it possible? Well, yoga enthusiasts believe that regular training can lead to a union of individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness. This inclines self-realization, which is the primary goal of yoga.
Individual studies report the beneficial effect of yoga for different conditions like mental stress, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. The reason is that each yoga posture aims to calm the brain, energize the body, improve digestion, and be therapeutic for high blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at 5 evidence-based health benefits of doing yoga.
Inverted poses are ideal for those with swelling in their legs from heart or kidney problems, as they let venous blood from the legs and pelvis flow back to the heart to be pumped to the lungs where it’s freshly oxygenated.
While you are doing some of the twist yoga poses, venous blood from internal organs is wrung out to allow oxygenated blood flowing in once the twist is released.
Inflammation is not only the redness and warmth we feel on the body after an injury, but it can be an immune response to a stressful lifestyle in general.
Inflammation is how our body defends itself against foreign invaders. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can raise your risk for developing pro-inflammatory diseases, and recent researches at Ohio State University suggest that practicing yoga may reduce that. According to the study, those who practice yoga regularly have much lower blood levels of an inflammation-promoting immune cell called IL-6 than those who don’t.
The No. 1 killer in the US (heart disease) is caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Practicing yoga can potentially reduce all of these as it is known for calming the nervous system, reducing inflammation, and boosting beneficial HDL cholesterol, therefore enhancing your cardiovascular health. It also helps with improving circulation and lung function, and may even reduce heart disease risk.
Weight-bearing workout strengthens bones preventing osteoporotic fractures, and many yoga poses require to lift your own weight.
Practicing yoga can also prevent cartilage, joint breakdown, or degenerative arthritis in a way of squeezing out areas of cartilage, allowing it to soak up fresh nutrients.
Doctors agree that high-stress lifestyle can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure). Yoga and meditation can be greatly beneficial for those who have high blood pressure. By slowing the heart rate, it brings blood pressure down to safer levels.
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