Table of Content:
2.0 Helps in muscle strength and flexibility
3.0 Increases the blood flow
4.0 Lowers blood sugar level
5.0 Promotes better sleep
6.0 Decreases stress and anxiety
7.0 Promotes healthy eating habits
In today’s world, though everyone is busy, the popularity of yoga is increasing day by day. Yoga being quite ancient is practiced by many people as the modern day life has become quite stressful and chaotic. There are various types of yoga. Few are physical types and the rest are in a meditative form. But all yoga focus on pranayamas i.e.; inhaling and exhaling which is beneficial. These exercises are followed by various yoga postures and it ends with a resting period. Yoga has a lot of advantages not only physically but also mentally.
The 6 most important benefits of yoga are as follows:
Helps in muscle strength and flexibility
The most obvious benefit of yoga is that it helps in building muscle strength and improves flexibility. Many people do yoga to improve flexibility and balance. In the beginning when a learner starts doing yoga, a lot of pain is experienced in the body as the muscles are stiff and the body is not flexible. Many yoga poses are difficult to do for the beginners. Over a period of time, there is a gradual loosening of the body and even the impossible poses which were difficult to do in the past could be done now with ease. Pain and aches occur in the body when it is not flexible.
Through yoga the body builds strength which helps in balancing flexibility. Inflexibility in muscles such as fascia and ligaments can be improved through yoga. Conditions like back pain and arthritis can be overcome if the body builds strength and that is possible only through yoga. In 2013, a study was conducted in older adults and it was found that by practicing yoga, balance and mobility can be improved.
Increases the blood flow
There are many relaxation exercises for the hands and feet in yoga that can help in blood circulation. When the twisting poses are done in yoga, it helps to squeeze out venous blood from internal organs and when the twist is released, the oxygenated blood is flowed inside. When the inverted poses like headstand, handstand, shoulder stand etc. are done, it allows venous blood to flow back to the heart from the legs and pelvis. This is usually helpful for people experiencing heart and kidney problems. Yoga increases the level of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body by making it thin and cutting the level of clot promoting proteins in the blood. This increase in the blood flow leads to the decrease in heart attacks, strokes etc.
Lowers blood sugar level
Diabetic patients who do yoga observe great benefits like reducing cortisol and adrenaline levels and also improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. It is also beneficial for people who have hyper tension as it controls the blood pressure by restoring ‘bar receptor sensitivity’.
By lowering the excessive blood sugar level, it helps the non-insulin dependent diabetics in reducing the need for medication. In this way yoga helps in lowering the blood sugar level and decrease the risk of diabetic complications like heart attack, blindness, kidney failure etc. Due to these cardiovascular benefits, yoga is included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Promotes better sleep
Yoga is really helpful as it gives relief from the chaotic modern life. Obesity, high blood pressure and other disorders cause lack of sleep or poor sleep quality. Meditation done in yoga provides downtime for the nervous system. A study was conducted to look at the effects of yoga on sleep in patients suffering from lymphoma.
It was concluded in the study that yoga increases the secretion of melatonin which is a hormone that helps in regulating sleep and wakening up. Yoga also helps in stress, anxiety, depression that causes sleep problems. In this way yoga not only improves the quality of sleep and duration but also reduces the need for sleep medications.
Decreases stress and anxiety
Other than physical benefits, yoga also affects an individual mentally in a positive way. It helps in decreasing the secretion of cortisol which is a stress hormone. In other words, yoga helps in slowing down the mental loops of frustration, anger, fear etc. that causes stress. Yoga helps in coping with the feeling of anxiety.
A sense of peace is found in yoga which helps in anxiety. In this way, yoga can help ease stress and lower the levels of the stress hormone control. It also leads to the decrease in anxiety. Yoga acts as an anti-depressant and reduces symptoms of depression. It helps in decreasing cortisol which is a stress hormone associated with depression.
Promote healthy eating habits
When yoga is done regularly it gets you moving and burns calories. It encourages us to address any eating or weight problems and inspire us to become a conscious eater. As it promotes healthy eating habits, it thereby helps in controlling blood sugar level, losing weight and treating eating disorders. Yoga leads to increase in physical activity and decrease in weight.
In this way yoga helps in promoting mindful eating and healthy eating habits. People practicing yoga have more awareness about their body which is inward and not physical looks. Eating disorder programs include yoga as an integral part as it promotes positive image of the body and self-esteem.
These are the 6 most important benefits of doing yoga. Apart from these benefits, yoga helps in improving heart health, quality life, breathing and relieving migraine pains etc. It also helps in reduction of chronic pain. It relaxes the system and helps to focus. It also releases tension in the limbs and boosts the immune system functionality. It prevents digestive problems and has various cardiovascular benefits. It keeps allergies and viruses at bay. Due to innumerable mental and physical advantages, yoga is gaining popularity.