Ever wondered, why people around the world are practicing Yoga for overall health and wellness? There are innumerable benefits of Yoga, for your mind, body and soul. You hit the gym to lose weight, get in shape or build muscles. But when you start practicing yoga, you get all round benefits. Some of the most common benefits of yoga include weight loss, stress relief; proper digestion of food, proper sleep, and it helps you keep energetic to take on the challenges of the day.
Besides treating most common lifestyle diseases, yoga helps you remain fit and healthy. And the best part is, in order to practice yoga; you do not need any specific tool or instrument unlike gym where you require several machines and instruments. In yoga, it is just you, your body and soul.
Yoga is combination of physical, mental and spiritual practices. It’s a very old practice and history goes back to pre-vedic Indian traditions. Yoga is over 1000 year old discipline. Yoga is not just a physical exercise, but it is the practice of connecting the body, mind and soul to create harmony.
Proven benefits of yoga and pranayam
Yoga is a broad term, but for this specific post, we are talking about ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ yoga practices to remain fit and healthy.
Benefits of yoga is not limited to just your health. Yoga is beneficial for both physical and mental health. According to scientists, practicing yoga and pranayam creates the perfect balance between nervous and endocrine systems of our body, which in turn influence the other systems and organs of our body.
Yoga is beneficial for our body, mind and soul. Irrespective of whether you want to lose weight and get in shape or you want to get rid of stress and sleeplessness, whether it’s back pain, arthritis, blood pressure, acidity or diabetes, regular practice of yoga asana and pranayama can help you get rid of all of these conditions.
Yoga for all round fitness
Yoga is there in India since time immemorial and due to its effectiveness and power the fame of yoga has travelled across the globe. Yoga can give you fitness from all the various directions; yoga is just a mantra that you need to lead the healthy life. Yoga helps in various ways:
- Protects from injury
- Detoxification of blood
- Inner peace
- Anger management
- Better flexibility
Asana: Surya Namaskar has several steps and it’s a combination of various poses. Practicing Surya Namaskar and Pranayam everyday in the morning can help you get maximum benefits of practicing yoga.
With a slight change in season, you may suffer from flu, common cold and headaches. Due to the fast pace lifestyle and ever increasing levels of pollution in air, your body tends to slow down the immunity. Yoga helps in strengthening the immunity of our body, making us resistant to various types of diseases and ailments, especially cough, cold, flu and other viral infections.
Asana: Shishuasana, Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose), Halasana (Plow pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Dhanurasana (Bow pose), Matsyasana (Fish pose) are some of the most popular Asanas which helps improve immunity.
Helps in back pain
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, then yoga may be beneficial for you. Taking pain killer pills for temporary relief from back pain may not be the best solution.
Yoga’s stretching facilities give strength to your spinal cord. People practicing yoga have lesser problems with back pain in comparison to those who do not practice yoga.
Yoga asana for back pain: Dhanurasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Bitilasana, Ustrasana, Marjaryasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana are some of the asanas that helps get rid of back pain
Improve heart health
Problems like blockages, arterial plaque, can be solved with the help of yoga. Yoga helps in proper beating of the heart, normalizing the pulse rates, improving blood flow and more flexibility. Sometimes you may suffer pain by carrying heavy objects, thus there can be some muscle pain in the right side of the chest. This kind of muscular pain can also be cured by Yoga.
Asana: Padangusthasana, Supta Padangusthasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Dhanurasana, Tadasana, Dandasana, and Dolphin pose are some of the highly benefical asana for healthy heart.
Helps cure asthma
In yoga there is various breathing exercises, the breathing patterns are coordinated with the muscle movements and this can cure asthma. By doing “pranayam” or breathing exercise you can get immense comfort from asthma and other breathing related problems.
Asana: Kapal Bhati pranayama, Bhujangasana, Yogic Breaths Pranayama, Pavanamuktasana, Setu Bandhasana are the most beneficial asana to cure asthma
Helps in weight loss
The yoga helps in increasing metabolism thus preventing the accumulation of fat cells in your body. Yoga helps in improving digestion, so the bile juice is produced for breaking down the foods into glucose. Thus, if you are trying to lose weight then yoga is the best option.
Benefical asana: Surya Namaskar, Veerabhadrasana, Trikonasana, Purvottanasana, Boat Pose and bridge pose are highly beneficial. If you want to lose weight by racticing yoga, you should learn and practice these yoga poses and you’ll get in shape within a few weeks.
Beneficial in arthritis
Yoga is certainly beneficial for people who are suffering from arthritis. The movement of various body parts while practicing yoga asana, improves blood circulation in to the joints and limbs. Iyengar yoga is a kind of yoga where props like belts, ropes and blocks are used. This kind of yoga has proved to be most beneficial for curing various types of arthritis.Asanas: Surya Namaskar (the Sun salutations), Tadagasana, Makarasana, Swastikasana, Pavanamuktasana, Bhujangasana etc helps in arthritis and joint pain.
Here’s a detailed video of Baba Ramdev showing various poses and asana that helps in Arthritis and joint pains.
Improves sleep quality
If you are having problems falling asleep due to stress and anxiety or if you are suffering from insomnia then yoga can help you to get proper sleep cycles. Yoga will help you in blood circulation thus improving the quality of the sleep.
Asana: Three of the most important yoga asanas which is beneficial in improving the quality of sleep includes Marjariasana, Shishuasana, ViparitaKarani, Utthan Pristhasana and Badhakonasana.
Great for stress and anxiety
Yoga can calm you down by taking care of all the bodily functions as a whole. Meditation is the best way to get rid of stress and anxiety. Stress is often the result of several hormonal imbalances and the yoga can normalize the hormones in your body.
Asana: Padangusthasana, Paripurna Navasana, Marjaryasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Balasana are some of the best asana that helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Improves memory and concentration
If you are distracted due to various other outward factors then it is obvious that you will fail to concentrate on your present activity that you have in your hand. Yoga can boost the memory and improve concentration, practice meditation daily and see the result within a week.
Asana: in order to improve memory and concentration, you may like to practice Padmasana, Sukhasana, Padahastasana, Paschimottanasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana. These yoga poses and asanas are highly beneficial in increasing concentration and memory.
What’s the best time to do yoga?
The best time to do yoga is early morning when you wake up. Just 30 minutes of daily yoga can helps you live a healthy and happy life. You can get the result within a few weeks, and once you start to live a better life, you will not want to miss yoga.
It is better to do yoga in fresh air so that you can inhale the fresh air which is essential for healthy body and mind. If you are in search for permanent cure for most of the common lifestyle problems, try and become a morning person and start practicing yoga.
Wake up early, and then start your day with some yoga. You will feel the difference within a few weeks. You will feel energetic and also be confident about yourself.
And if your work schedule does not allow you to get up early, no problem. Yoga can be practiced in the evening. Just make sure to practice it on fixed time, be it in the morning or in the evening.
And if your time permits, you should practice yoga and pranayam both in the morning and evening. Spare just 30 minutes to 40 minutes per session for yourself and see the beauty.
How and where to practice yoga and Pranayam?
Be it arthritis, back pain, asthma, constipation, migraine, stress, anxiety or depression, practicing yoga can seriously benefit in overcoming these conditions. In the word of Natalie Nevins, a California based certified Yoga instructor, “The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body”.
Now when you know about various health benefits of Yoga, I am sure you would like to start practicing and benefit from it. Yoga can be practiced in the morning, evening or both. Depending on your schedule, you got to fix a time.
Yoga is all about various poses, postures and breathing techniques. The basic is to inhale and exhale properly while practicing these poses and postures.
There are various poses and postures and since are just starting, you can focus on basic yoga. As you learn and master the basics, you can start practicing advanced yoga poses.
You can start by joining a Yoga class and learn techniques from certified yoga trainers’. Yoga trainers can train you on practicing yoga pose or asana on the basis of your body type, age and any specific health issue.
Another great way to learn yoga is to buy CDs and DVDs or watch YouTube videos. There are plenty of training sessions available that you can watch, listen and learn from.
All you need is a calm and open place and a yoga mat to get started. Its Open space, with fresh air is better than practicing yoga indoor. But if you plan to do it at home, there is no issue either.
Just choose the room or place with a bit of open space and do a bit of decorating to create the environment. The room can be decorated with a statue or a picture of meditating Buddha and some incense sticks. This is how you can make a perfect ambiance for your yoga sessions.
Get started by watching this video by Baba Ramdev
Yoga is truly beneficial for your overall health and wellness. The benefits of yoga includes relief in stress and anxiety, weight loss, proper sleep, digestion and it helps in curing lifestyle related diseases like heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes.
Spiritual essence is also present in yoga which is not there in any other physical activities like gym. Yoga is not just for your body, but it creates perfect harmony between your mind, body and soul.
Start practicing yoga today and live a happier and healthier life.
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.