About Yoga and Health
Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices rooted in Hindu religion that originated in ancient India. The postures or the ‘asanas’, meditation and breathing techniques (‘pranayam’) are the limbs of yoga that can help a person achieve better mental and physical state. These practices are therapeutic and beneficial to mind, body and soul. On the surface, it may look like a bunch of random body postures, but yoga and meditation have more profound effects to the human body that we can imagine. Both, mental and physical health can be improved by practicing yoga.
The asanas are found to have therapeutic effects and can be a key ingredient for a person looking for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Other forms of exercises like weight training and calisthenics focus on building strong muscles and strengthening the bones. These forms of exercises generally involve placing the body against a form of force, while lacking emphasis in other dimensions of physical fitness. While these exercises can be beneficial for having a fit body, there are many drawbacks. There is an increased chance of injury, and can be adverse for people with certain health conditions. On the other hand, asana postures put a minimal amount of stress on body and yet produce ample results. Most asanas poses engage different parts of the body, including the internal organs, joints, different muscles, tendons, etc. Certain asanas increases mobility, strength and flexibility and other asanas are found helpful to treat conditions like constipation, depression, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, COPD and back pain. Asanas also increase overall strength and flexibility of the body, hence making it more beneficial. Ultimately, asanas help one to get a ‘balanced’ body.
Some health benefits of practice of yoga asanas are as follows;
STRESS AND ANXIETY.
Stress, anxiety and depression are a few of the problems that people are facing in our modern society. Yoga asanas can provide relief to the people suffering from these symptoms. Pranayama, or controlled breathing techniques, aids controlling the heart rate and are also found to be beneficial for relaxation and calming the mind.
HYPERTENSION AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
Hypertension is a condition when blood pressure is too high and may affect healthy functions of other parts of our body. It can lead to serious health problems like heart failure, paralysis and organ failure. Yogic asana like ushtt asana, padma asana, vajra asana, Tar asana etc. and pranayams like Anulom vilom, surya bedan, kapal bhati etc. These are beneficial for preventing and recovering from conditions of hypertension. The controlled breathing during the asana and posture of the asana engaging different organs is also beneficial.
Obesity is a serious health concern for many people. Obesity may result in many other health problems like hormonal imbalance, hyper thyroid activity, kidney damage and diabetes. By increasing physical activities and following healthy eating habits, yoga asana can help to improve the overall health and functioning of the body. Asana that can assist in obesity are trikon asana, paschimotan asana, bhujang asana, shalv asana and pranayams include kapal bhati and surya bhedan.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas in the human body fails to produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that converts the sugar in the food into energy. Diabetes affects multi body functions and degrades their productivity. Yoga can be an effective additional treatment for diabetes. Yogic asana like paschimotan asana, ardh matsyendra asan, hal asana, dhanur asana and viprit karni and pranayam like nauli kriya, kapal bhati help curtail the effects of diabetes.
Yoga can be remarkable when it comes to preventing bone related diseases. Practicing postures regularly are effective in preventing bones from weakening and helps increase bone structure.