Yoga which is an amalgamation of physical, mental and spiritual practice is the very foundation of mindful living. Even though its historical origins are rooted in ancient India, yoga, in our day, has invaded the psyche of the world population. Practicing yoga not only increases physical flexibility, but it also enables individuals to achieve complete inner peace. Individuals who practice yoga diligently can experience numerous health benefits.
Here Are 10 Incredible Health Benefits Of Yoga:
Yoga revs up the four important physiological systems – circulatory, endocrine, nervous and digestive systems – which are associated with improved immune function. Yoga helps to calm the mind and rid the body of toxins. Specific yoga poses which triggers acupressure points in the body helps to expel harmful pathogens. The precise postures and breathing techniques which are practiced in yoga can further strengthen the immune system.
Eases Migraine Attack
Yoga provides lasting relief from debilitating and painful migraine headaches. The relaxation techniques which are practiced in yoga calm the nervous system and increase the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin (sometimes called the happiness hormone). Improved serotonin production is linked to reduce incidence and intensity of migraine attacks.
Specific yoga routines not only alleviate the problem of insomnia but it also improves the quality of sleep. Precise postures along with regulated breathing exercises which are practiced in yoga, help to ease the muscles of the body while calming the mind as well. Yoga also increases the production of the brain chemical serotonin. Studies have linked increased serotonin levels to healthy sleep.
A healthy digestion is the key to good health. Specific yoga asanas or yoga poses (which increases physical activity) are designed to improve gastrointestinal circulation, mucous production, food absorption, while simultaneously reducing the incidence of gas buildup and acid reflux. Practicing yoga poses diligently can also remove constipation problems. Yoga also helps to expels toxins which accumulate in the digestive tract over a period of time.
Improves Brain Function
Yoga, particular hatha yoga, boosts brain function for a short duration of time, by keeping the mind focused on a single task. Meditation and focused breathing which is the foundation of yoga exercises, improves cognitive function by calming the sympathetic nervous system and bringing down stress / anxiety levels. Individuals, especially older people, who practice yoga, were able to observe increased mental flexibility, enhanced information recall and better task switching ability.
Reverses the Risk of Heart Diseases
The cardio strengthening benefits of yoga reverses the risk of heart diseases. The deep breathing exercises which are practiced in yoga help lower blood pressure. Mindful breathing also lowers the production of stress hormones by calming the sympathetic nervous system. Practicing yoga diligently lowers overall blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, yoga exercises boost blood circulation, improve muscle tone, increase lung capacity and respiratory function. People who practice yoga have a lower incidence of suffering from stroke and / or cardiac arrest.
Helps Ease Back Pain
Yoga not only addresses the symptoms but it also effectively tackles the root cause of back pain. The strengthening techniques which are practiced in yoga help fortify specific muscles and muscle groups in the back (especially lower back). Strengthening the back muscles eases back pain to a large extent. The stretching and relaxation techniques which are practiced in yoga helps alleviate tension, while promoting relaxation and flexibility in stress carrying muscles of the back . Practicing yoga improves blood and nutrient flow to the soft tissues and muscles of the back as well.
Aids In Weight Loss
Yoga is basically an aerobic exercise form which enables overweight individuals to shed their excess kilos. Despite being a low intensity workout, yoga strengthens the core muscle group of the body – which helps you to lose excess weight in a shorter duration of time. Practicing yoga also increases calorie burn or energy expenditure. The self awareness aspect of yoga keeps hunger pangs at bay, which in turn facilitates a regimented weight loss process.
Reduces Anxiety Attacks
The simple breathing exercises which are practiced in yoga keep rising stress levels under control and prevent anxiety attacks. Practicing yoga postures increases the production of the neurotransmitter Gamma AminoButyric Acid or GABA. GABA which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system or CNS helps relieve anxiety attacks or panic disorders.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Practicing yoga regularly reduces LDL or bad / unhealthy cholesterol levels by almost 30 percent. A low impact exercise form, yoga also helped to reduce triglyceride levels by almost 11 percent. The cholesterol lowering property of this ancient exercise form can be attributed to its ability to reduce stress levels through gentle stretching, meditation and breathing exercises.