Table of Contents
3.2 Mental Benefits
- What is YOGA?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union”.
Union of human consciousness with the universal consciousness directing to harmony between mind and body, human and nature. Yoga is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines which initiated in ancient India.
Yoga has spread its tentacles wide in past few years. It has beautifully travelled the journey of its existence to west and become popular throughout the world. There are around 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide. Although majority of the practitioners are women, but many men are also getting interested in this.
Men practicing yoga rose from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016 in America alone which more than double.
It has become a great business.
A business for a good purpose!
There are around 6,000 yoga studios in United States alone.
I started practicing it myself two years before when I got victim to back pain issues. It proved so helpful and now it has become a part of my routine.
- Why do people practice Yoga?
Below infographic shows the top five reasons surveyed why most of the people start practicing yoga!
Above are the reasons why they start but two-third of people continue yoga not because of flexibility or exercise but because of spiritual connections between body and mind, between body and universe that they feel and says that it is difficult to explain about how free they feel after it. Sense of self – knowing, self – realization, sense of fulfilling their potential.
But yes, the health benefits of yoga are very real !
- Benefits of Yoga
Practicing a yoga routine regularly could provide physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The main purpose of yoga is to provide physical and mental strength, awareness and harmony. The top benefit that I find of yoga is the possibility for anyone to practice it. There are so many types of exercises - that whether you are little overweight or professional athlete it works for everyone because there are alterations for almost every yoga pose.
3.1 Physical Benefits
The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga practices proves very beneficial for body like back pain, arthritis, headaches etc. Yoga also proves beneficial in lowering blood pressure and improving the condition of insomnia.
Some of the Yoga Benefits are:
- Flexibility improvement.
- Muscle strength building and tone.
- Respiration condition improvement.
- Sustaining a balanced
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Body weight balance.
- Stamina building.
- Protection against injuries.
- Improved athletic performance.
3.2 Mental Benefits
Many practitioners say that regular yoga practice helps them a lot in bursting stress, anxiety, depression and improving mood.
- Reducing Depression – According to American Psychological Association, although yoga is not the cure to most cases depression, it is beneficial for treating depression both from an exercise and mental wellness standpoint.
- Anxiety – The calmness many participants receive through Yoga has shown reductions in the depression and anxiety in various situations.
- Encourages Mindfulness – It means living and focusing on present. Most of the anxieties and depressions are the reason of worrying too much about past or future. Yoga provides that calmness which makes you to be more focused in your work and motivated.
- Sleeping improvement – Boston University Medical Center researches shows that yoga is very beneficial in improving mood, sleep and overall quality of life.
- Building Self – Esteem
- Yoga for Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia is serious brain disorder in which people experience delusions, confusions and bizarre behavior. This condition cannot be cured with yoga but could be controlled. Generally, with combination of medication, yoga and other therapies.
- Easing post-traumatic stress disorders (PSTD)
In this super busy world where we are simply rushing from one day to another constantly trying to build up better future for ourselves, our family. Working, partying, networking – yoga opens up the doors to ourselves, connecting to ourselves, focusing on present and knowing what we really want.
Yoga is not really about shaping yourself physically but to open mind and be less judgmental in this already so judgmental society. Right to be simple, direct and orderly.
As Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron explains:
"Practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.
We recognize our capacity to relax with the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that already exists in our minds. We experience moments of being right here that feel simple, direct, and uncluttered."