The benefits of Yoga for health

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The benefits of Yoga for health

In this post I want to talk to you about the benefits of Yoga for health. I also want to introduce the format of a class and some tips to follow to start practicing Yoga regularly. Let’s go there!

This ancient Indian philosophy dating back thousands of years was envisioned as a path to spiritual enlightenment but today the physical benefits of practicing Hata  Yoga have found enormous popularity as a form of gentle stress management exercise.

There are many varieties of yoga , each essentially based on positions, Asanas , practiced with attention to the perception of the breath. Researchers have discovered that regular practice of  Yoga can produce many health benefits  , including the normalization of blood pressure through stress regulation. Over time, Yoga practitioners experience lower stress levels and increased feelings of happiness and well-being. This happens due to the concentration on the postures and the breathing that ends up working as a form of meditation.

If you want to learn more about the role of breathing in Yoga, you can read the post I published on this topic by clicking on the following link: Correct breathing and all its benefits

Practice stimulates the ability to strive, intelligence, precision, commitment and dedication.

The practice of Yoga is made up of three main elements: exercise, breathing and meditation. The exercises are designed to put pressure on the Endocrine System. This increases the efficiency of this important regulatory system of the body, thereby improving overall health.

Breathing techniques increase breath control to improve the functioning of the body and mind. The exercises and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, which focuses on achieving a calm mind, allowing silence and healing from daily stress. When practiced regularly, meditation can become a powerful and sophisticated discipline for achieving physical, mental and emotional well-being.

There are various strains of Yoga , each with a slightly different bent. The most popular are Hata, Bikram, Iyengar and Vinyasa Yoga.

What is a yoga session like?

Each posture or Yoga Asana is held for a period of time and is linked with breathing. A session usually starts with the basic poses and works its way up to more vigorous or challenging poses. A complete yoga session should exercise every part of the body and should include:

  • Paranayama, which are breath control practices.
  • Relaxation
  • Meditation

A complete Yoga session must include all the different types of postures:

  • lying postures
  • sitting postures
  • standing postures
  • inverted postures
  • Postures in extension
  • flexed postures
  • twisting postures
  • Balanced postures

The postures in extension are those that open the body from the front, such as the cobra or the bridge, and the postures in flexion are those that open it from behind and collect it from the front, such as the child’s posture, for example.

How the practice benefits your health

Yoga is an activity to practice for a long time, the longer you have been practicing it, the more benefits you can enjoy. Over the years you will develop strength and flexibility, while relaxing your body and calming your mind.  Asanas affect the muscles, joints, bones, glands, internal organs, lungs and brain.

Yoga health benefits also include the  cardiovascular system (heart and arteries). The Asanas are isometric, which means that they seek to maintain muscular tension for a short period of time and this improves cardiovascular conditioning and circulation.

There are studies that show that the regular practice of Yoga can help normalize blood pressure, improve blood circulation and the digestive system. The massaging effect of the muscles speeds up slow digestion. Musculoskeletal joints move using their full range of motion by fully utilizing their intended range of motion, which encourages mobility and relieves pressure on joints and muscles, increasing flexibility. Holding Asanas longer can build strength and endurance. Supporting Asanas can help prevent osteoporosis and even help people already diagnosed with this bone degenerationif practiced carefully, under the supervision of a qualified yoga teacher.

Long-term benefits of Yoga practice

Long  -term benefits of consistent practice include reduced back pain and improved posture, as well as improved nervous system and muscle tension relief . The fact of focusing the mind on the breath combined with the maintenance of the Asanas calms the nervous system, reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. Better levels of concentration and energy are obtained . There is an increase in feelings of calm and well-being .

Yoga can be practiced by people of very different ages. It is a non-competitive activity and suitable for anyone regardless of their fitness level or age. The teacher must carefully guide, observe and modify the student’s postures when necessary. The postures should not cause pain, if it hurts you should reduce the demands of your practice, it is important to keep the activity within the limits of your physical body. If you are over 40 years old and have not exercised your body for a long period of time or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should carefully check your abilities before incorporating any work routine. Better perform exercises to test your current condition.

Yoga classes generally have between 10 and 20 people. This allows the teacher to give individual attention and suggestions to get the most out of your class. To obtain the greatest benefit in your classes, we propose the following recommendations:

  • wear comfortable clothes
  • Also use a non-slip mat or rug, since you will do many positions seated or lying down, and others will require you to be able to “grab” well on the ground.
  • Allow at least three to four hours to pass after your last meal.
  • Always inform your teacher of your sensations, especially if they are uncomfortable, so that they can advise you
  • If you’ve had a recent injury, illness, high blood pressure, heart problem, or osteoporosis, let your teacher know.
  • Try not to talk during class because this would alter the rhythm and concentration of you and the other students.
  • If you have been inactive for a long time, incorporate gentle breathing control and meditation exercises and the softer and less demanding Asanas to gradually increase your capacity and with it the level of difficulty of the postures.
  • Finding a properly trained and qualified instructor is essential, so don’t waste time looking for the one that most convinces you and inspires you the most confidence.