Yoga is an ancient Indian method of training through body postures and poses. The word ‘yoga’ in the olden language of Sanskrit means ‘connection’ or ‘union’ between the mind and body to induce relaxation, improve health, breathe in a controlled manner, and meditate. Yoga is a deeply spiritual path to bring harmony to the body, spirit, and mind. Yoga helps in teaching how to breathe correctly, how to control the body, reach a higher level of mental and physical well-being, and how to meditate to control the mind and bring peace.
The postures or asanas are only the first steps to start the beautiful journey that is yoga. It is a method to control the mind over the body to fine-tune your abilities, concentration, body postures, and health. There are a lot of added benefits to managing the mind and body through yoga, like better flexibility, increase in focus and clarity, reducing stress, learning how to meditate and relax, and so on apart from the weight-loss and skin benefits. In the earliest texts of Hindu scriptures, Yogis (saints practicing yoga), used yoga to transcend the physical body and help attain enlightenment through breathing, meditation, and body control.
While we are not on the path of transcendence, people practicing yoga today have also seen numerous benefits to the age-old practice, notes Camille from www.thefloatspa.co.uk. Followers of yoga do not have to make any changes to their faith or beliefs since yoga is a method to achieve a healthy mind and body. It could be likened to jogging or running to improve circulation and get the blood pumping. Physical exercise and concentration do not hinder one’s religious beliefs or faith. Yoga is also a practice that does not require an investment of money, only time and dedication. It is widely known as a lifestyle change that helps improve the body and mind and achieve peace and relaxation.
Let us look at some advantages of yoga classified into internal and external health benefits.
Internal Health Benefits:
- Lower blood pressure: blood pressure gets controlled with regular practice of yoga. Breathing exercises in yoga help in improving the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and keep blood pressure controlled.
- Lower respiratory rate: since yoga greatly depends on controlled breathing, the lungs are forced to get full to optimum capacity. This helps control the respiratory rate of the body and allows the lungs to work efficiently.
- Increased circulation: transportation of nutrients and oxygen in the body enables better circulation of blood to the body thereby reducing health risks and concerns. Improvement in the flow of blood due to oxygenation helps improve skin quality and promotes glowing skin.
- Gastrointestinal health: digestion and gastrointestinal functions of the human body are improved with regular yoga practice. It helps in increasing resistance to diseases and improving bodily functions.
- Increase in metabolism: yoga helps in increasing and improving metabolism in the body. This increase helps keep fats in check and assists in weight loss and maintenance of healthy fat to fit ratios in the body.
- Improved sexuality: yoga helps in increasing confidence and control over the body. People with performance anxieties and confusion can attain better sexual wellbeing in the long term and improve relations with their partners.
External Health Benefits:
- Improving Posture: yoga helps in controlling the body and improving posture. It also helps improve flexibility through the help of various asanas and poses. With correct breathing and positions, the body develops a remarkable stance. This helps in looking healthy and feeling confident.
- Premature aging: yoga is a useful way to detox the body of the ill effects of drinking, smoking, and strange eating habits. With the help of yoga, free radicals and toxins get eliminated from the body. These benefits help keep the signs of aging at bay internally and externally.
- Increase in strength and stamina: since yoga depends on body weight exercises and breath control, strength, stamina, and endurance increase greatly.
- Balance: with the help of simple and complex postures, yoga increases the stability and stature of the body. Balancing helps in improving posture, flexibility, concentration, and focus throughout the day.
- Increase in core strength: core workouts help in improving the core strength. Since yoga depends on body weight postures and exercises, it helps improve the core strength gradually. Developing the core strength also helps heal better and increases resistance to minor injuries and ailments.
Apart from the internal and external benefits of yoga, it also helps in creating a healthy union between mind and body. Yoga works in keeping depression at bay, helps in controlling anxiety and stress, assists in mood improvement, focus, clarity, concentration, and maintaining a positive outlook towards a healthy and wholesome life.