Yoga has its roots in ancient texts like the Vedas and the Upanishads. However, parts of it, like breath control, meditation, and other body postures, are practised by many for weight loss, better health, and getting rid of stress. In addition, Yogis claim that treatments have benefited patients with autism, asthma and even cancer as they make the body more receptive to cure and heal. On TheHealthSite.com, you’ll find everything you ever needed to know about yoga, including the various yoga asanas for better sex life and how it helps battle ailments like diabetes, stress and depression, arthritis, belly fat and even menstrual pain.
Yoga has several exciting health benefits too. For example, yoga can help you deal with a variety of issues. It improves your sexual health, helps you lose weight, improves your stamina and even beats migraines and insomnia. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Here are the 13 health benefits of yoga that you must know about.
Yoga shouldn't just be a fitness regime, but it should be a way of life. While many of us resort to yoga as a weight loss solution, there's much more to it. From helping you lose weight to improving your mental well being, yoga is your one-stop solution for all your problems. If you are a beginner, it is ideal to take it slowly and steadily. Ensure that you are equipped with the proper resources, like an appropriate yoga mat and the right yoga guru, and maintain hygiene before attending a yoga class. It is also advised to wear appropriate clothes while performing yoga.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a type of ancient physical and mental activity. It focuses on improving the body's flexibility, strength and breathing process to improve mental and physical health. The main components of yoga are asanas and special breathing techniques. Yoga asanas are called yogasanas, which are unique body postures. These body postures or yogasanas are prepared in such a way that increases flexibility and strength in the body if practised regularly. Yoga's popularity has grown tremendously worldwide in the past few years. Some people do asanas to increase the flexibility and strength of the body, while others adopt yoga to overcome disorders such as mental stress and anxiety.
History Of Yoga
The earliest mention of yoga is found in one of the oldest texts of India, "Rigveda". According to ancient collections, the word "yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Yuj", which means "to meet" or "to join". Yoga was also born in India about 5000 thousand years ago, and due to its effectiveness, it gradually spread all over the world. Nowadays, many new asanas and yoga techniques have been created, and in western countries, it is known as "Yoga".
Benefits Of Yoga
Much research has been done on the quality of the results and effectiveness of yoga. Much of this research has found yoga to be an effective way to increase physical activity, flexibility and balance and provide strength. Moreover, even to some research, yoga is very beneficial for patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, and mental diseases. Following are the main benefits of yoga:
- Reduces stress: According to the National Institutes of Health, some scientific evidence has been found that suggests that yoga helps in improving mental health, leads to good sleep and helps to reduce body weight, which results in physical and psychological health. The tension is also less.
- Beneficial for heart health: Regular yoga practice reduces physical stress levels and reduces inflammation and redness inside the body, maintaining heart health. Some factors that cause cardiovascular diseases, like high blood pressure and obesity, can also be reduced by adopting yoga.
- Improves physical strength, flexibility and balance: Deep breathing while doing slow physical movements during yoga increases blood flow and activates the muscles. Similarly, physical strength is developed by the posture held during yogasana.
- Relief from back and joint pain: Many yogasanas are very beneficial in reducing the pain in the back. Yoga not only helps in reducing pain it also improves the mobility of the affected area. Some medical colleges in the US recommend yoga as an initial treatment for back pain.
- Reducing the symptoms of arthritis: The pain and joint problems caused by arthritis can be reduced with the help of some yoga asanas. In some research, yoga has been described as very effective for arthritis.
- The body gets more energy with a good mood: Daily mental and physical energy is expanded by proper yoga postures. This increases feelings of alertness and euphoria and reduces negative emotions.
- Develops a sense of self-care: Many research results show that individuals who practice yoga daily pay special attention to physical care. In addition, people doing yoga keep their diet, sleep and cleanliness in balance.
- Relaxes the body and helps sleep soundly: Some studies show that doing yoga every day in the evening prepares you for sleep, both physically and mentally, and as a result, you can sleep well.
Types Of Yoga
The effectiveness of yoga today largely depends on its postures, which focus on exercise, strength, agility and breathing techniques. In addition, different types of yoga asanas affect mental and physical activities. Therefore, people choose many kinds of yoga according to their physical fitness and goals. These include:
- Hatha Yoga: In this, the postures and techniques of doing yoga are taught. The word "Hatha" in Sanskrit means to obstruct by force, which refers to a type of hatha yoga. Nowadays, classes for hatha yoga have also been started in many countries, in which general information about yogasanas is given.
- Yin Yoga: In this yoga, the body focuses its attention by keeping the body in a passive posture for a long time. Yin yoga consists of slow movements and has also been linked to the traditional Chinese system of medicine. This form of yoga works for deep tissues, ligaments, joints and bones.
- Kripalu Yoga: This form of yoga teaches the practitioner the art of knowing, accepting and learning from the body. A person doing Kripalu Yoga learns to practice yoga at his level by looking within his mind. Its classes are usually started with simple stretching and breathing exercises.
- Bikram Yoga: It is also known as "Hot Yoga" in today's time. Nowadays, to do these yoga postures, the temperature is kept around 105 degrees Fahrenheit and about 40 per cent humidity. Bikram yoga consists of approximately 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises.
- Prenatal Yoga: In this type of yoga, special yogasanas are prepared for pregnant women. With the help of prenatal yoga, women can keep themselves healthy during pregnancy and do not face any problems in getting fit again after giving birth.
- Kundalini Yoga: This type of yoga is a unique practice of meditation, with the help of which the energy buried inside the body is released. This yoga is started with special chanting, after which yogasana, pranayama and meditation activities are also done in it.
- Sivananda Yoga: This form of yoga, breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise and positive thinking improve lifestyle. There are 12 types of common yoga asanas performed in Sivananda Yoga, starting with Surya Namaskar.
- Ashtanga Yoga: One of the ancient yoga practices became very popular during the 1970s. Ashtanga consists of practising specific postures and sequences that link physical movements to the breathing process.
- Shakti Yoga: This has become known as "Power Yoga" in Western countries. In the late 1980s, yoga practitioners created Shakti Yoga based on the traditional Ashtanga Yoga system.
- Iyengar Yoga: This yoga practice usually uses different blocks, fabrics, straps and chairs, etc. With the help of this yoga, postures are made with the correct alignment.
Precautions During Yoga
With age, the balance of the body gets affected, and the muscles also become weak. In such a situation, it is necessary to take special care while doing yoga etc. According to some research, people above 65 years of age have the highest incidence of yoga-related injuries. However, you can reduce injury risk during yoga to a great extent by taking care of the following things:
- If a healthy person does yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor, it is considered a safe physical activity.
- However, do not try it yourself until you learn yoga mudra, as it can also cause damage like sprains or injuries like other physical activities.
- There are usually muscle strains in which most of the knees, ankles, and lower legs are affected in yoga.
- However, it is also true that the risk of injury while doing yoga is much less compared to exercise and other sports activities.
- If you are new, do not do yogasanas like Shirshasana, Sarvangasana, and Padmasana or take deep, deep breaths too fast. All these yoga postures are taught with a unique technique and continuous practice.
- There are risks associated with hot yoga, such as heat and loss of water in the body.
- Pregnant women, older adults, or those with any disease should consult their doctor and yoga instructor before starting yoga.
- Certain conditions may require specific changes in yoga postures for a single individual, most commonly due to an ankle, knee or hip injury, spinal cord disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure, or physical balance problems.
Tips For Starting Yoga
If you are going to start yoga for the first time, start with beginner classes. Talk to a yoga instructor before beginning classes and let your doctor know if you have had an injury or illness in history. For example, tell the instructor before starting yoga if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, or any other chronic condition.
Before you start taking classes with any yoga instructor, please get to know about their training and experience to be sure that you are training under a good trainer. Although most yoga instructors are prepared by giving proper training, you should still confirm all your apprehensions to avoid any problems later. Simply put, choose a trainer for yourself whom you enjoy working with and don't feel uncomfortable with.