How does yoga promote better health? A healthy body, the yoga practitioners in ancient days believed, was key to progressing spiritually. To take care of the body with proper, satvik food that was nourishing and not harmful, sleeping at a designated time, practicing a calm demeanor was all essential along with the yogic postures to attain the perfect balance of mind, body and soul.
The first benefit that comes to everyones mind when we talk about yoga is improved flexibility. Yoga makes the muscles more flexible and stretchable. Those initially not able to sit cross legged, or touch their toes, can see a gradual improvement after consistent yoga training. Stiffness in the back, shoulder muscles, hamstring and knee disappear and they become supple.
Apart from this, lets look at the other benefits that are offered by yoga.
Improved Muscle Strength
Strong muscles prevent conditions like arthritis and prevent falls in elderly people. Muscles also improve fat burning by increasing the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). For diabetics, it is crucial to get the muscles active and strong, since they can take in more glucose, thereby reducing blood levels of glucose.
Bad posture strains the back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. There is a tendency to slump forwards especially when working on the computer for long hours, or sitting at a curved chair in the office that does not support the spine. In the long run, the slump results in flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine. Yoga postures help corrects the misalignment with constant practice in the right postures.
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Doctors and expert nutritionists recommend weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, a debilitating bone disease that affects mostly women of menopausal age. Women start to lose bone mass as early as late 30s and when they reach menopause (which can be as early as 45 for some women), the bone loss is accelerated. This leads to poor bone mineral density, fragile bones that are prone to breaking, fractures and falls. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. A study in the US found that yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae.
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Improved Blood Circulation
Yoga gets more oxygen to body cells which function better as a result. Twisting poses are help remove venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This helps especially for those who tend to have blood pool at legs or at ankles. It is also helpful for those with kidney or heart problems when circulation is markedly affected.
Controls Blood Pressure
Yoga is a boon for controlling blood pressure. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom numberand the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop. Since yoga calms down the mind, and improves and regulates breathing as well, may also contribute to the blood pressure lowering effect.
Impacts Sugar and Cholesterol Levels
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
Some of the top yoga centres in your city are registered with Gympik.com for you to avail their services simply by the click of a button. Trained and certified yoga instructors will teach and mentor you so you can effectively and efficiently achieve your goals and the above health and wellness benefits.