Yoga is a very ancient practice and it is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization. The word “Yoga” derived from Sanskrit “yuji”, meaning “union”. This describes the main aim of the practice in bringing harmony between mind and body.
For generations, this philosophy was passed on from the master teacher to the student. The original purpose of yoga was spiritual development practice to train the body and mind to self-observe and become aware of their own nature.
Over time, many various techniques have developed and became popular throughout the world. While there are more than 100 different types of yoga, all of them are built on the basis of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation.
"Stress can reveal
itself in many ways,
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drug abuse and an
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Practice for the Physical Well-Being
While on the first sight yoga practice may appear extremely simple and not be taken into consideration as an effective physical exercise method, it has been proven that yoga exercises have a complex effect on the body.
Yoga cannot be compared with other sport types. The philosophy of inner awareness through physical movement is essential in yoga practice. Your postures allow a complete concentration on the muscle and body sensations.
Various movements in yoga have an effect on the internal organsby increasing the blood circulation towards them. Regular practice can help normalize digestion, as well as lower the amount of harmful chemicals in the blood and reduce the level of internal inflammation that usually rises with the natural process of aging and stress.
Yoga involves paying attention to your breath. Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume. Meanwhile, their exercise capacity increases significantly as does the oxygen saturation in the blood.
According to various measurements yoga practice improves the lung function, including the maximum volume of one breath and the efficiency of the exhalation.
Yoga improves flexibility and posture
Over time, without regular stretching, our muscles become thorough and dense, thus restricting the blood circulation.
Flexibility is a gate to youth and vitality.
Tight hamstrings cause back pain most of us experience on a regular basis and block the blood flow in the body.
Stretching and flexibility result in a lean, defined body. During my first yoga classes I was shocked about the stiffness of my own body. But don’t be disregarded by that! Regular practice takes you a long way. That is the mantra by which we live.
The bonus that awaits us: static yoga asanas build incredible muscle strength in the body, which is combined with balance and flexibility. In this way we strengthen our inner muscles, which have an enormous effect on our posture. The muscles that lie deep below the body surface, stabilize the spine, react to external influences and in this way protect the body from injury.
Most of us spend our working days sitting in front of the computer. Maintaining an active lifestyle is so important, especially during the pandemic!
We use our cell phones more and more often and focus on the screens. All of this is detrimental for posture. And did you know that by losing posture we also lose the “youth triangle”?
This means that well-defined and contoured facial features are sagging and poor posture speeds up this process.
Yoga for the Mental Well-Being
Additionally to the physical health benefits yoga helps manage stress, which has a very devastating effect on our bodies and the mind.
Studies found that practicing Hatha yoga had a promising effect on anxiety.
Research from 2017 looked at people with depression that had not responded well to antidepressants. Participants who completed 2 months of regular yoga practice experienced reduction in depressive symptoms, whereas the control group showed no improvements.
Also in in 2018, researchers evaluated whether school based yoga practice could help children experiencing anxiety. Practicing yoga at the beginning of the school day for 8 weeks improved their well-being and emotional health compared with the control group.
Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life. Regular practice tones the body and in combination with meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s well-being.
Finding time to practice yoga a few times a week, even for a short session, will be enough to see a difference in your health.