You might be familiar with the word “Yoga” in your daily life. But ever wondered what yoga actually is and why is it important? The term Yoga is derived from the verb “To Yoke or Unite” which means that it is a union of three things: spirit, mind and body. Yoga was originated in ancient India thousands of years ago as a practice done to relax mind and body. The most common styles and approaches of yoga are:
The Hatha Yoga
A yoga style that includes different body postures, breathing exercises and relaxation of muscles. This type of yoga style is often used for focused breathing that is in a slower pace for longer time periods.
The Vinyasa Yoga
A vinyasa yoga is the one that we can say is go with the flow yoga technique. It does not require any specific sequence to be followed as hatha yoga but it is a meditation of flowing postures with the breathe.
The Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga is derived from two Sanskrit words: “ash,” means eight, and “tanga,” which means limbs. Ashtanga is often considered as trickier yoga style than the other two as it included a series of different postures, breathing techniques and meditation that are hard and require are certain level of focus due to their difficulty level. It is an athletic form of hatha yoga
A yoga is often considered as a holistic and spiritual practice that has proved to help people from all age groups and abilities. It has not only helped to reduce stress among people but also has great benefits including improved flexibility, balance and spiritual well-being. Over the years, with the increase in home yoga classes, online yoga tutorials, and in-person yoga studios it has gained popularity due to its accessibility and a lot of benefits. The practice of yoga includes different postures and positions of body that can help relax muscles physically and mentally.
Let’s take a look at some of its benefits and the best postures for each benefit.
Yoga Provides Head to Toe Flexibility
Flexibility is the most common and obvious benefit of yoga. The flexibility comes when the muscles of the body are stretched in the morning by using different postures. It is important for a human body to have flexible muscles specially shoulders, back, legs and hips. Yoga also helps reduce the risk of injury by making the body flexible and strong. Try the “Child’s Pose” for increased flexibility as it relaxes your spine and neck muscles making them flexible.
Yoga Strengthens Core Muscles and Improves Posture7
Yoga helps to strengthen the core muscles of the body leading to reduced back pain and improved posture. This is because many people overlook the way they sit and also during office hours it is difficult to stay in one position due to which people tend to sit in a bad posture. Yoga plays a very important part in correcting the posture. Try the “Downward Facing Dog Pose” to strengthen your back muscles and spine.
Yoga Reduces Stress Level
As mentioned above, practicing yoga helps in reducing stress level from the body as it is a mental exercise as well that makes our brain relax and release such hormones which can help in reducing the stress level. Yoga also helps in improving the health of our heart by reducing high blood pressure problems, excess weight etc. Try the “Cat-Cow Pose” for improved heart health.
Yoga Relaxes You to Sleep Better
It is a common phrase “Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” Research shows that it is very important for a person to have a peace of mind and relaxed body in order to complete his sleep of at least 7-8 hours as an adult. In our day to day life, where everyone is stressing about their work and their home, yoga is a means of getting a right mindset. Bedtime yoga help in improving sleeping routines leading to healthy body and mind for proper functioning. They also stimulate the brain to produce some chemicals that are associated with happiness. Try the “Legs – Up- The – Wall Pose” before bedtime to help you sleep better as it increases the blood circulation level.
Yoga Gives You Peace of Mind and Soul
Yoga slows down the mental loops for mood swings, frustrations, anxiety, anger and other emotions that can cause stress. Since, stress is linked with a lot of health problems (heart diseases, high blood pressure, insomnia etc.) yoga can help reduce stress to a minimum level by bringing balance to the body. Most of the yoga exercises focus on the soul and spirituality where one can feel what is around him and absorb all the good energy making him feel better. Try the “Tree Pose” to achieve a balance in the body and connect with your soul.
How much is enough yoga?
Yoga is relatively a healthy exercise with minimum to no potential risks. If a person is sticking to a certain level of comfort and is doing each posture correctly, yoga can provide a lot of benefits not only physically but mentally as well. But the question arises how much is enough yoga? Like all other exercises yoga is also a set of specific postures and positions that can help improve the health of a person. Start small but manageably. The key to doing yoga is to be relaxed and peaceful. It is recommended to do yoga for 10 to 15 minutes a day with different positions. Performing repetitive movements’ everyday may lead to overuse injuries. Hot yoga should not be practiced on daily basis as it may alter the results leading to imbalance electrolytes in the body and high blood pressure. People with certain health conditions should not be doing yoga regularly as well as pregnant women and elderly people. They should consult with the doctor or consultant before joining any yoga class.
Yoga is meant to bring peace and harmony to your body and spirit. One should practice yoga to the extent that brings happiness and relieves stress according to their own strengths and goals.