Benefits for mind and body – 8 good reasons to practice yoga

Yoga

Sanskrit is the language of yoga, which means union, or to unite and there are other meanings, but this depends on the context of the conversation.

Yoga is a spiritual practice that is about 10,000 years old, but the physical and mental benefits can not be ignored or looked over.

This practice harmonizes the mind and body through certain physical poses, breathing exercises, gestures of the body, and meditation.

It may seem simple, but this practice is centered around how the mind and body work, therefore it is important to find a knowledgeable yoga teacher.

THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF YOGA PROVEN BY SCIENCE

1. YOGA REDUCES STRESS

Relieving anxiety related to the overload of occupations and worries is one of the main reasons that today lead many people to be interested in yoga.

The effectiveness of yoga in this regard is well known. It promotes relaxation and the effect can be measured in the levels of cortisol, one of the hormones related to the stress response.

After two months of regular practice, a reduction in cortisol and the subjective perception of anxiety, fatigue, and depression was observed.

2. LESS INFLAMMATION

The positive effect of yoga can be measured by blood markers such as C – reactive protein, interleukin-6, or tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

By preventing inflammation, yoga reduces the risk of developing a wide variety of diseases, including cancers, some heart diseases, and diabetes.

One of the studies testing the anti-inflammatory effect of yoga was conducted at the University of California Los Angeles with breast cancer survivors who attended Iyengar Yoga classes for 12 weeks.

3. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

A Nagpur University study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology shows that people who have been practicing yoga for 5 years have lower than average blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the main causes of heart problems.

Other research, conducted at the Bombay Yoga Institute, determined that the combination of yoga with a healthy diet is capable of reducing bad LDL cholesterol by 26% and reversing the progression of heart disease in 47% of patients.

4. YOGA FIGHTS DEPRESSION

The effects on the hormonal system may also explain that yogis and yoginis are less likely to experience symptoms of depression.

This property is related to the ability of yoga to reduce cortisol levels and increase serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter associated with the sensation of well-being.

In a study by the National Institute of Mental Health in Bangalore, India, the practice of a type of yoga called Sudarshan Kriya, which is based on rhythmic breathing techniques, managed to mitigate the intensity of depression associated with alcoholism in only two weeks of practice.

5. RELIEVES PAIN

To combat pain, patients use drugs, often for years that are not free of side effects. Yoga helps reduce the dose of drugs or even avoid it, especially if it is combined with other complementary therapies.

Yoga practice is good for muscles, ligaments, and joints. In this way, it can improve, for example, the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

6. YOGA IMPROVES SLEEP QUALITY

People who do yoga fall asleep faster, dream longer and wake up more rested, according to a study by Dr. Manjunath Sharma, a researcher at the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India.

Yoga has a sleeping effect through its action on the endocrine system, especially on the production of melatonin, the nighttime sleep hormone.

Quality sleep is known to prevent obesity, hypertension, depression, and a wide variety of diseases due to inflammation or oxidation.

7. YOGA ENHANCES FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE

It is a benefit of yoga that is obvious when observing an experienced practitioner, the range of motion of their joints goes much further – four times more, on average – than that of most people, even those who enjoy an excellent physical condition. The same is true of balance.

Flexibility and body balance translates into a lower risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

For this reason, yoga is especially indicated for athletes and the elderly. Half an hour of practice a day can mean the difference between well-being and chronic complaints.

8. IT ALSO STRENGTHENS THE MUSCLES

All the muscles of an experienced yogi are toned. A study carried out at the Gulbarga Medical University, India determined that performing 24 sun salutations every morning for six days a week results in a general strengthening of the body, especially of the upper part.

The repetitions of the salutation to the sun also favor the elimination of corporal fat and, consequently, the loss of weight.

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