The uproar of life never ends, and with every day, a new challenge awaits for a solution. All of us are hustling towards numerous, different goals, which grow into entire new branches. And in this funny yet challenging life, we have no time to spare a look at our health. Have you ever asked yourself, “How are you?” other than asking others in a morning meeting or a sick patient. No one of us does, for we have forgotten ourselves and are continuously running through mazes, which will take us to our dream place. Little do we realize that what lies beyond matters more, and that is you. No matter how many hopes and aspirations grow, you need to be both mentally and physically fit in attaining them. You need to know yourselves before knowing the hopes of others that bind you. If you are told that there is a way to seek a balanced body and soul, would you believe it? Some might say that the task is impossible, while many seek the conformity of their beliefs. A practice that took roots from northern India is now turning out to be a way to get relief and find a balance for the body amidst a tumultuous life.
Yoga, a practice, a belief, call it anything, has brought a ray of hope and bundles of sunshine into our lives. It has become a way to release the cathartic emotions which continue to build and remain unattended. It is a set of exercises for the body systems, evolved from India, which helps you regulate the breathing patterns and relax your body and mind. Yoga is not just limited to control and relax your body; rather, it can become a gateway for exploring creativity and seeking an abundance of knowledge. Ancient scriptures believe that Yoga is a way for the mortal body to unite with the spirit of the universe. It is to get to know and get close to the divine energy of the world. A Sanskrit term, Yoga when translated, means “yoking” or “union”. It is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices and belongs to one of the six darshanas or schools of Indian philosophy. There is a broad spectrum of yoga practices and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. There are four paths or kinds of Yoga: Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Jnana Yoga. The practice of Yoga dates back to pre-Vedic times, around the Indus Valley Civilization, around 3000 BCE. Yoga gained popularity in the Western world when a prominent personality, Swami Vivekananda, first introduced it. Beyond India, Yoga is known as a technique of physical fitness, stress-relief, and relaxation techniques.
In recent times, with the grappling competitions and thirst for achievements, anxiety, stress, and ample ways for depression to cave in, Yoga has worked for many to get rid of their mental illnesses. Research studies have shown that traditional yoga systems that include breathing exercises and asanas or postures, chants, and meditation can reduce stress and improve immunity and lung functions. It also lets you attain harmony and is a soft awakening for both your mind and soul. An hour with Yoga will drive away all the pessimistic thoughts on life and help you focus on the bright side of the page. It also provides you with the opportunity of self-introspection and self-reflection. It helps you know where you are wrong and the better ways to deal with your problems. Also, you can learn an ideal way to approach and articulate your thoughts well. Yoga also evokes your intellectual mind. It helps us to think about the whys and hows of different things which circulate in nature. On spiritual aspects, Yoga helps you to unite with divine energy which supposedly exists in this world. If you are a believer in any religion, Yoga will open your senses to the deep meanings of religion and the practices associated with it. Recently, science has also approved Yoga to help treat diseases and health issues. And the results have also come positive, with patients getting well and feeling good after years of practicing Yoga. Let’s look at how Yoga facilitates us with medical benefits.
To fight obesity
As much as you need to love your shapes and sizes and consider yourself unique, we must not avoid the underlying hindrance. The fats accumulating underneath your skin can lead to various diseases linked to obesity. You need a robust mental determination in doing so. Do not consider loving your body when you are letting a severe health issue grow. With Yoga, you can practice the different asanas, postures which will help to reduce fats from different parts of the body. Like forward bending, twisting, and backward bending, specific postures help reduce fat near the abdomen, hips, and other areas. Asana and Pranayama keep the whole body in a proper condition. This will make your body burn fats and remain healthy for more extended periods.
Yoga is proven to reduce your body’s joint pain and stiffness if you are suffering from Arthritis. To treat Arthritis, doctors prescribe different types of Yoga. Iyengar yoga is often recommended to people with Arthritis because it can be adapted for limited mobility in one or more joints. Assistive props, such as ropes and foam blocks can be used during challenging poses. Iyengar yoga prioritizes proper body alignment and precise movements. Bikran Yoga or Hot Yoga is used for loosening the soft tissues and making the joints flexible from stiff. It aims to make you comfortably bend and ultimately eliminate arthritic pains. Yin Yoga aims at breathing and stretching. Yin yoga is a good option if your goal is to reduce chronic arthritis pain by reducing stress, muscle tension, and anxiety in the body. Vinyasa yoga focuses on matching breath to movement during a flowing sequence of poses. During this flow, certain poses require partial weight to be put in the hands and wrists. Other poses involve lunging. It is also one of the most athletic forms of Yoga.
Healing Heart Health
People suffering from heart disease must now look at the brighter side, for Yoga will heal what medicines might not be able to. Yoga has been proven to increase blood pumping and reduce the congestion of blood flow from the heart to the body. A sedentary lifestyle, food habits, and stress are a few things that can disturb the normal functioning of our heart and can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. In such a condition, Yoga is one of the best ways to take care of your heart. Yoga helps reduce stress, anxiety and lower the risk of depression, which is quite beneficial for your heart health. There are five prominent asanas of Yoga that will aid your heart diseases. The extended triangle pose, seated forward bend pose, half spinal twist pose, cow face pose, and bridge pose are the asanas or postures recommended for heart patients. This will continue the blood circulation and at the same time treat if you are suffering from lower blood pressure. Cardiac rehab programs have now included Yoga to treat heart patients and teach them the natural ways of turning a weak heart into a strong one.
Inflammation is a normal immune response, and chronic inflammation can contribute to developing pro-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Studies suggest that regular Yoga can reduce inflammation. A massive intake of fried food, fats, and sweets may lead to stomach inflammation and grow into severe diseases if not treated. This inflammation gets worse with stress, elevated blood sugar levels, and hormonal imbalances. Some recommended asanas are the child pose that stretches your back, hips, and ankles, which relieves stress, anxiety, and fatigue. The Supine twist pose will massage your organs and encourage new blood flow. It is a fantastic and gentle twist that generates flexibility in the spine and reduces chronic inflammation. This pose is also helpful for alleviating pain and inflammation experienced in the lower back and working on releasing any shoulder tightness. Half Lord of the Fishes will help reduce chronic inflammation, cleanse your organs and detox your digestive system. Warrior 2 pose helps relieve muscle pains and improves circulation and respiration. When your circulation and respiration are optimized, your body is more equipped to combat stress and functions much more effectively.
While these are some of the medical benefits of Yoga, it is not just limited to keeping your body healthy. Yoga also aids your mental health. In different situations, you might feel anxious and troubled to find out the ways. But with regular practice of Yoga, much of your anxiety will cripple down. It will help you to notice life and make the best out of it. If you have not started with Yoga yet, begin now with small steps. And it is an assurance that you will find the peace and warmth you had yearned for long!