Yoga might be one of the oldest health practices, but it is still very much in use today. It combines the strengthening of the body and the mind to improve health in a holistic way. In fact, even the name has its origins in union as it is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yug”. It is believed that the union of the body and mind is a very healthy state because they each have a direct effect on each other so if both are healthy, the person as a whole is healthy.
Healthy living involves eating right, exercising and having ways to reduce stress levels. Yoga helps directly with two of these things and can have an important effect on your eating habits as well. For other things that contribute to healthy eating, you can have a look at Consumer Health Review, a website that deals with nutrition and natural remedies.
1. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety
It’s no surprise that yoga is able to reduce levels of stress. It focuses on ways of controlling your breathing and releasing tension from certain parts of your body. This process reduces stress hormones, which have a physical effect as well. Daily practice of yoga helps the effects to last much longer.
Yoga has also shown benefits towards reducing extreme forms of stress such as anxiety. Anxiety comes from overstimulation of the brain and yoga can change brain activity to a much more moderated level. In fact, it has been found that yoga can even reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
2. Yoga protects your heart
A reduction in stress has a direct benefit on the heart. The controlled breathing and relaxation of yoga helps to reduce blood pressure because the relaxed heart does not have to beat as hard. The consistent reduction in blood pressure has shown major benefit towards reducing the development of different forms of cardiovascular disease.
Yoga also reduces inflammation. Inflammation is caused by a flood of chemical messages released when a person is stressed and when they are injured. Since yoga helps to reduce stress and relieve tension in areas of injury, it reduces overall inflammation which also protects the heart. Reduced inflammation can also help to ward off diabetes and cancer.
3. It’s a source of pain management
Many people suffer from various sorts of long-term pain. The pain could come from the joints or the muscles of the head. In all cases, yoga is able to assist. Yoga stretches tensed muscles and strengthens supporting muscles so that less stress is placed on those muscles and joints. With less stress, they can regenerate and no longer be a source of pain.
Another ailment yoga can assist with is the relieving of migraines. There are a number of theories for this, including the fact that yoga activates certain nerves which assists in relieving migraines and that it improves blood flow throughout the body, which also helps to reduce the incidence of migraines.
4. Yoga improves your flexibility
It’s probably no secret that the various strengthening and stretching poses of yoga assist the body to become more flexible. Both athletes and elderly people can receive this benefit. Increased flexibility helps to have better mobility and can also reduce pain experienced from muscle aches especially in older people. It’s been found that a person needs to practice only 30 minutes of yoga a day to make a significant difference in their flexibility.
5. Yoga can help you lose weight
There are several ways in which yoga contributes to weight loss. Yoga is a form of aerobic exercise, which is a slower but more impactful form of exercise, that preferentially burns fat as an energy source. There are complicated reasons as to why this happens but it has been proven by science.
Since it also strengthens your muscles, it increases your resting metabolic rate as muscles burn more energy than fat cells. Strengthened muscles also help to get more definition to body area which improves its general appearance.
It has also been found that yoga promotes a healthier way of eating because it reduces the impact of stress eating, by reducing stress. People often return to unhealthy foods when they are stressed and unhappy but are more inclined to eat healthily when they have a positive mindset, such as the one created by doing yoga.