Article written by Anjali Goel
Yoga is spiritual and miraculous. There is no certain age limit to practice Yoga Asanas. Yoga holds different meanings to different people. For some people, Yoga can be tedious and uninspiring, whereas for others, Yoga adds value to their lives. It connects their body to their soul resulting in a life-changing experience. In the long run, practicing Yoga can help one stay calm and content. Due to this, even the biggest of the problems seems small and manageable.
Yoga requires discipline and dedication. One must practice it daily in order to see any long-term changes. The duration of Asanas should be increased after certain periods of time. If done efficiently, Yoga can be termed as a life-changer. Yoga gives you self-confidence and soothes your conscious and subconscious mind, which results in a better and stress-free life.
Some people believe that Yoga does not provide physical strength, but that’s untrue. Different Yoga Asanas focus on different body parts and hence enhances their overall strength. Yoga has many fitness benefits, including flexibility, reduced stress levels, harmonization of body, mind and soul. It also increases blood flow to various parts of the body. Yoga works as a great stretching session before a workout, too.
As we mentioned earlier, Yoga is said to be life changing. Here are some life changing benefits one may experience by practicing Yoga –
Relief from pain
Yoga not only provides strength to your body and peace to your mind, moreover it also provides relief from neck and back pain, arthritis, migraine and other types of chronic conditions.
Daily Yoga helps in strengthening the back that leads to less back injuries. Some of the poses that help in fixing your back pain include cat pose, dolphin plank pose, cow pose, cobra pose, and downward-facing dog pose.
Knee pain can be seen in people over 30 years of age. Yoga postures that can provide relief from severe knee pain are big toe pose, bound angle pose, bridge pose, and extended triangle pose.
Hip pain can also be treated through practising daily Yoga. Bajaradvaja’s twist, boat pose, big toe pose, child’s pose, cat pose and easy pose works like magic to give you relief from irritating hip pain.
Breathing is considered as one of the fundamentals of Yoga. While doing any yogic asana, one has to inhale and exhale deeply to enable better blood flow throughout the body.
When one inhales deeply, the oxygen reaches every cell of the body. This helps in clearing the carbon dioxide from the body. This allows the brain and nervous system to work more efficiently. Breathing also increases the focus, which makes your mind clear and calm. This calm mind leads to the reduction of stress and anxiety.
Pranayama, in other words, meditation, is a part of Yoga that solely focuses on your breathing. Pranayama involves paying close attention to your breath which helps a lot in clearing your mind from negative thoughts. Pranayama breathing exercises can help regulate your emotions by preventing your mind from wandering too far into a negative space.
Breathing exercises improves the capacity of lungs. This increased capacity allows you to take deeper and fuller breaths. Deep breaths lead to oxygen transmission to every cell of the body. This results in a healthier immune system.
Various Yoga poses include standing or hand standing in a position that withstands gravity. These gravity-opposing poses build body strength.
In gym training, more emphasis is given to individual body parts at a certain point of time. However, Yogic postures focus on the whole body unlike gym training. For example, in Chaturanga Dandasana, although we might feel the effect of it mostly in the upper body, abs, back, and inner thighs but muscles in the feet are also involved.
Some of the Yoga postures that works as exceptional strength training exercises are Three-Legged Dog Pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana), Revolved Half Moon Pose (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana), Boat Pose (Navasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Crow Pose (Kakasana), Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana).
In this way, Yoga helps in building the overall strength of the body. It makes the body stronger so that it can easily perform daily activities like walking, running, lifting heavy bags etc.
Flexibility is one of the key benefits of Yoga. Yoga significantly increases the flexibility of one’s body. Poses held for several rounds of breathing serves to create a deep connection with the muscle tissue, encouraging it to relax and stretch. In fact, most people notice around 35 percent increase in their flexibility after only eight weeks of regular Yoga practice.
Once your body develops flexibility, you will be able to withstand more physical stress as compared to earlier. Plus, you’ll rid your body of any muscle imbalances, which will reduce your chance of getting injured during physical activity.
When you focus on increasing muscular flexibility, your posture improves. Practicing Yoga daily helps in aligning your body that fixes your postural issues (if any). Plus, with an increased range of motion you may find it easier to sit, stand or move in certain ways. Yoga has also been shown to improve balance.
Once you increase your body flexibility, it allows you better movement and improves your physical abilities to a noticeable extent. This is because your muscles are working more effectively.
There’s no doubt in it that Yoga provides inner peace. The meditative aspects of Yoga help many to reach a deeper, more spiritual place in their lives.
Yoga enables your brain to live in the present, it trains your brain to enjoy and appreciate the present moment. People around the globe have experienced substantial changes within themselves after practicing Yoga regularly. They claim to have went from being anxious about the future and the past to relishing in the present.
Meditation reduces stress. Stress causes sleep disorders, induces depression and anxiety, increases blood pressure and contributes to mental and physical exhaustion. Yoga helps in making your mindset stronger, which ultimately leads to you becoming stronger. When you start practising Yoga, you will witness an increase in your self-confidence, better mood and the enhanced ability to handle stress.
Through practising Yoga, one builds mindfulness. This allows you to be self-aware and helps you in becoming a better version of yourself. When we start witnessing how our mind works, it is bound to increase the qualities of compassion, warmth and kindness.
All of these benefits are truly life-changing. Yoga can eradicate most of your problems if you are dedicated towards it. We hope you found this article beneficial.