Yoga is a popular form of exercise, yet there is much more to it than exercising the body with those strange poses. The three elements of yoga are practicing specific postures, meditation and breathing exercises, therefore it increases the health of your mind, body and spirit. Practicing yoga helps a great deal to control stress and anxiety and so it helps to mitigate those diseases that are caused by these conditions – and there are many.
Yoga is said to have a beneficial effect on: –
- Blood pressure
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Heart disease
- Stress and more
In addition to the physical benefits of increased stamina, flexibility and muscle tone, it improves your concentration and creativity, stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, boosts self esteem, lowers fat and increases calmness and a sense of well being. So you can see there are many benefits to doing yoga.
Oddly enough, these were not the primary intentions of the practice of yoga. It was first ‘invented’ in India as a spiritual practice that would help the participant get in touch with the divine consciousness known as Brahman as well as with their own consciousness, called Atman. It is meant to purify the mind, body and spirit in order for this union to be attained. Of course, many people who don’t believe in this side of life still practice yoga and find many benefits.
Studies have shown that the practice of yoga actually prevents the brain from shrinking and many older participants who had practiced yoga for 5 or more years had the brain of someone much younger. This in itself is surely a great benefit to gain, as most older people do have brain shrinkage that was thought to be a natural part of aging.
However, it is not only yoga that offers this particular benefit. Studies have shown that anyone who practices meditation and self awareness will find similar benefit as their anxiety and stress decreases a great deal. They also can begin to deal with some of the frenzy and stress of modern life. The only problem is, it is difficult to find the time to sit and meditate unless you are doing something like yoga.
There will always be interruptions and you will allow them because you are ‘just sitting’ with your cup of tea or coffee – or without, as the case may be – rather than ‘doing’ something specific, like yoga. It seems a shame in this modern day and age that sitting down to relax and think about things is often considered a waste of time. So if you don’t do yoga, guard your ‘me time’ just as if you were.