Yoga can help you in innumerable ways, as it empowers your body, mind and soul to fight the stress and everyday problems of life. Modern uncontrolled lifestyle has led our generation to health disorders and emotional distress. A bad lifestyle and absence of self-awareness could lead to destructive habits and a pessimistic vision of life. To cleanse your body and spirit you should find out the right kind of Yoga for yourself and practice them regularly for best results. Every Yoga posture has some exclusive benefits for your body and soul. It helps you control your mind. Ayurveda, the ancient medical science evolved in India, is the counterpart of Yoga. This clearly indicates that like Ayurveda, Yoga also has medicinal value.
Key Benefits of Yoga:
- Fitness and Flexibility:
Yoga promotes the overall fitness of your body and improves your flexibility. Yoga incorporates many stretching movements that tones your body muscles and makes them stronger. Fitness of the body depends on the fitness of the mind. Yoga is not only a physical exercise. It is also a way of developing your mental ability and concentration levels.
- Weight Loss Aid:
Yoga is a great weapon against obesity and unseemly body fat. Regular practice of Yoga will help in substantial weight loss. Unlike other forms of exercises Yoga doesn’t only help in weight reduction but also tones your body and makes you look slimmer and more beautiful.
- Shield against Diseases:
Yoga is like a shield against many diseases and health disorders. It gives your body the power to protect itself from the immunity related diseases like cold and cough, viral fever etc. Yoga also cures backaches, neck aches, arthritis etc. The regular practice of Yoga can reduce your blood sugar levels and eases the discomfort and pain of chemotherapy. Yoga provides vitality to our inner organs and improves their functions.
- Peace of Mind:
Through the help of Yoga you can get back the peace of your mind and do away with the negative thoughts that burden your soul. Yoga soothes your soul and connects you to your spiritual self. Meditation, which is an important part of every Yoga session, strengthens your soul and helps you discover your true self. Yoga leads to a spiritual awakening which in turn helps in restoring your inner peace.
- Concentration and Creativity:
To succeed in any profession you need to concentrate and be creative. Yoga opens up the doors of imagination and creativity. It helps you focus on your works. Improved concentration is a great tool for achieving your professional goals.
- Personal Relationships:
Yoga disperses the negative energy flowing through your body and mind. When the negative energy is absent, your personal relationships start improving. With an enhanced clarity of mind and improved listening skills you can communicate with your spouse better than before. Communication is many a times the best solution of relationship problems.
Whether 13 or 65, you can always benefit from Yoga
Are you health conscious? Are you worried that any exercise regime might not suit you according to your age? If yes, then there is an ideal way to stay fit without even bothering how old you are because yoga benefits are for everyone. In case you are thinking that you can hardly move or touch your toes, how can you indulge in yoga? There is nothing to worry, as there are different yoga poses that can be done at any age throughout the life.
Yoga helps fight all the problems related to aged body, such as loosening of bones, stiffness, hardening of the arteries, hormonal problems and depression. At the same time, it helps teenagers to deal with their mood swings, find mental balance. People in their middle ages can maintain their youth, while those who live modern lifestyle can practice yoga for overall well being.
What studies say about yoga benefits?
When it comes to yoga, it’s never too late. Benefits of yoga can be realized at any phase of life irrespective of age, sex and color.
Yoga has a positive impact on migraine patients
Dealing with migraine is a complex job since there is no ‘one-size-fits-for-all’ treatment. A 2020 study from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with two groups found that medications and a 2-month yoga program combined had better impact on migraine sufferers than those only on standard medication. The group following yoga experienced a reduced severity in migraine with fewer episodes of headaches and consumed fewer medicines. It is also established that migraine medications work only on half of the sufferers.
Yoga shows remarkable improvement in major depressive disorder
A 2019 study from Boston University identified breathing exercises and yoga if combined improves symptoms of major depressive disorder. This is the first study to specify the optimal dose or duration of the yoga program for this purpose. The specific duration of Iyengar Yoga and breathwork sessions improved positivity, energy, sleep quality with marked reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms within a month and it was even more pronounced after three months.
Helps in lowering blood pressure almost the same achieved from aerobic exercise
Mayo Clinic in its 2019 meta-analysis of 49 studies states, yoga postures facilitating mental relaxation and breathing can have a positive impact on lowering blood pressure almost equivalent to that gained from aerobic exercise. The reduction in blood pressure observed is 11/6 mm Hg, equal or more than those reported from aerobic exercises. Without yoga intervention in mental relaxation and breathing, blood pressure reduction was only 6/3 mm Hg.
Yoga as a therapy for back pain
A randomized trial from Boston University in 2017 confirmed 12 weeks of yoga gave the same results in back pain relief in adults with moderate and persistent pain as 12 weeks of physiotherapy. Half of the participants from both the groups (yoga group and physical therapy group) could reduce their pain, disability and medication intake, but those from the yoga group seemed to prefer yoga more and are likely to stick to the regime.
Over time yoga has a significant impact on depression
A study from Brown University in 2017 gives interesting findings of the impact of Hatha yoga against health education session on patients suffering from severe depression on antidepressant medications. In the first 10 weeks, the yoga group didn’t see any notable benefit but after 3 and 6 months, half of them found 50% improvement in their depression symptoms.
Weekly combined yoga and meditation routine could stall old age mental decline
A small UCLA study in 2016 found that weekly yoga and meditation can restrict age related mental decline. Older adults having early memory problems improved more in thinking tests following Kundalini yoga and Kirtan Kriya meditation than the similar other group attending brain training classroom sessions and mental exercise. A 12-week yoga and meditation program showed more benefits in improving cognitive functions.
Hatha Yoga improved walking speed in people with hyperkyphosis
A study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles school of Medicine asked more than 21 individuals of over 60 years of age to perform Hatha Yoga once in week in a span of 12 weeks. All the participants suffered from hyperkyphosis, a kind of hunch back problem that creates problems in normal movement. After the yoga sessions, the walking speed of all the people increased by 8% and other movements increased by 18%. It also helps those with improper standing posture to gain the proper balance.
Slows osteoporosis, increases bone density
There are also studies, which show that yoga might save you from breaking a bone. In a study, 18 people suffering from osteoporosis (which made them almost unable to move) were assigned yoga classes for 10 minutes daily. Here they learnt about 10 postures including upward, downward, bridge pose and triangle, which they can maintain for about 20-30 seconds without falling down. After having put them on a regular routine for a certain number of days, it was found that their bone density increased by 85% from what calculated previously mainly in the spine and hip region.
Studies show that daily dose of regular yoga can keep the old age away and power yoga, astanga, or bikram gives the heart fast and aerobic workout. If you are suffering from any kind of medical condition then the vigorous yoga might not be a good option for you. For the beginners just go slow with less physical pressure on the body. To live long one simple tip is, combine yoga with walking. A convenient 20 minutes walk will do wonders.