The concept of yoga originated in India and it refers to the integration of our physical, mental and spiritual self thus leading to an accomplishment of a state of serenity and spiritual insight. Yoga is used to denote the meditative practices of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is a Sanskrit word and is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means to connect, unite or balance. There can be several definitions of yoga and it totally depends upon how one perceives this practice.
Within Hinduism yoga is referred to one of the six conventional groups of Hindu philosophy that is prescribed to attain freedom from the materialistic world and unification of the self with the Divine being. The practice of yoga harmonizes the functioning of the different organs of the body so that they become flexible and do not oppose each other. In this context yoga can be defined as a series of postures and breathing exercises performed to successfully achieve control of the mind and body.
From time immemorial yoga has been the mantra for good health and to get maximum results from this practice one has to combine yogasanas, pranayama and meditation. The benefits of yoga are manifold as this is a form of exercise, whose postures and breathing techniques induces strength in our body and also elevates our mind to sublimity. Patients of such diverse ailments like diabetes, blood pressure, digestive disorders, arthritis, asthma, varicose veins and heart disease have found solace in yoga.
Most importantly our aging process can be stalled by practicing yoga as it helps to keep our body flexible and well lubricated which in turn reduces the catabolic process of cell deterioration. Let’s discuss how yoga plays a vital role both as a curative and preventive therapy.
Yoga For The Bones, Muscles And Joints
The practice of yoga asanas require the involvement of the muscles of the entire body and in doing so it strengthens the feet, legs, hands, abdominals, lower back and shoulders. New techniques of stretching the body with the help of yoga make it more flexible and increase the range of motion to muscles and joints.
That is why yoga is advised to people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because regular practice of yoga postures will enable them to see a marked improvement in their stiffness, pain and other arthritic symptoms. The poses and postures of hatha yoga gently stretch and strengthen the muscles and that is why it is considered to be a best medicine to alleviate chronic back and neck pain.
Yoga For The Cardiovascular System
People suffering from high blood pressure can practice regular breathing exercises of yoga because they help to circulate blood evenly throughout the body which in turn lowers the blood pressure. Many practitioners have claimed that yoga even helps to reduce cholesterol.
Power yoga is very beneficial for the cardio vascular system as it strengthens the core muscles whilst constantly circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Yoga For The Mind
The breathing exercises of yoga teach us to breathe through one nostril at a time. Research has proved that breathing through one nostril results in an increased activity on the opposite side of the brain. According to experts practice of breathing through one nostril could lead to enhancement of communication between the right and left side of the brain.
Research has proved that increased activity of the brain also improves knowledge based performance. Regular practice of yoga makes the mind clear and brings about calmness, increases self consciousness, eases chronic pains and counter negative feelings of helplessness and depression.
Even children can reap the benefits of yoga. Children with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity can specifically take the help of yoga breathing exercises and yoga asanas and learn how to relax and get control.
Yoga For Other Health Conditions
People suffering from frequent headaches and migraines can take the assistance of yoga as it circulates blood and oxygen in the brain which often prevents headaches from starting.Practicing yoga regularly will increase antioxidants throughout the body that strengthens the immune system thus enhancing the ability to heal quickly from disease.
Power yoga has the ability to burn calories very quickly and thus helps to maintain a healthy weight throughout the life. Studies conducted in various yoga institutions have proved that asthma can also be cured by regular practice of yoga.
Yogic meditation along with the practice of simple postures and pranayama can work as a miracle for asthma patients as they help to prevent asthma attacks. Body pain or pain induced by an injury can be managed by yoga as it stimulates the brain’s pain centre to regulate the gate controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body.
Yoga In Day To Day Life
Insomnia is one of banes of this fast paced world. However practicing yoga regularly will lead to better and deeper sleep. Fatigue related issues can also be resolved through yoga and people can stay energetic throughout the day. Yoga gently stretches the joints and muscles and thus ensures maximum supply of blood to various parts of the body. Harmful toxins are flushed out in the process thus providing utmost nourishment to the body. Its benefits are exhibited in the form of delayed ageing, energy and a remarkable zest for life.
Thus a daily practitioner of yoga will hardly resort to medicines or drugs and he may never have to visit the doctor. Time and again we have seen people achieve extraordinary physical feats against all odds and this becomes possible only when the mind conquers the body. So this is a proven fact that there is interconnectedness between the mind and the body, and it is exactly in this very area that yoga plays its part.
Yoga through meditation synchronizes the mind and body to work together by creating a harmony between the two and this leads to real quantum benefits. Thus we cannot equate yoga with any other mode of exercise which is operational on a physical level only. So don’t feel disappointed and frustrated about your limitations regarding various aspects of your life because yoga is the means to overcome them.