Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5 Benefits of Yoga

As you all know, I'm working on getting my yoga certification so I can teach and share yoga with others. Here are just a few of the things I'm learning about the health benefits that yoga has to offer.

Yoga differs from other types of physical exercise in that it works your mind, body, and spirit. So while you're physically getting stronger (asana), you are also practicing your breathing (pranayama), and you're working on meditation (dhyana). The combination of these areas make for unique benefits.

Benefits of Yoga:

1. Happier Workout: Research has continually shown that by not triggering the "fight or flight" response while working out (like you do in most sports and exercise), you will feel happier and more refreshed after working out. By keeping an awareness of breath and continually being mindful of your practice, you are able to become very relaxed while still having an intense workout.

2. Weight Loss: Yoga helps with weight loss, not only because it is a workout but because it reduces your stress, which is one of the triggers of weight gain. It has been shown through research that when your body releases cortisol (a stress hormone), your body has greater difficultly losing weight. Yoga reduces your cortisol levels and increases your dopamine levels. 

3. Less risk of Disease: Yoga has been shown to reduce your risk of disease and even be a good treatment of some diseases because it helps your immune system, lung function, brain function, and so much more. The many different poses (asana) are great cleansers and do great things for your organs. Yoga can help with and prevent high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. The breathing practices can also help with asthma.

4. Decreased Stress: Yoga helps to reduce your stress because through use of breathing techniques and practicing them, you can train the autonomic nervous system to work in your benefit. This will help you not only while you're practicing yoga, but in stressful situations and in everyday life. 

5. Body Benefits: Of course we all know that yoga increases our flexibility, improves balance, builds muscles, gives us better posture, and promotes us spiritually. 

This is a great quote by Elliot S. Dacher MD who wrote Whole Healing: A Step-by-Step Program to Reclaim Your Power to Heal":

 “Yoga is a way to get to the source of ourselves. The challenge is not to see yoga as a treatment for disease, but as an opportunity to see something deeper in the self. To reconnect with the body is one way of artfully facing the reality of pain in our life and a means for accepting and being in our lives more deeply.”

1 comment:

  1. yoga has many benefits.
    Yoga is the natural way to stay happy, healthy and stress free. It is the best home exercises you can do around the house.
    Yoga Training Rishikesh



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