What comes to your mind when you hear the word “yoga?”
Most people believe that yoga consists of physical exercises, sports, stretching, and acrobatics, but that’s far from the truth.
This misconception has been built over time by what we watch on TV and see some social media influencers and “coaches” do.
What Is Yoga?
The word Yoga was coined from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which means “to bind or to unite.”
Yoga is an ancient system practice that includes breathing exercises, chanting mantras, prayers, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures.
It is widely practised for health, mind healing, and relaxation.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Yoga helps to lower cortisol levels amassed over time due to stress. This will save you from blood sugar and heart ailments associated with high cortisol levels.
Yoga has been proven to calm nerves and help in relaxation. It helps you stay focused on the present state of mind. Studies show that practicing yoga twice a week for a month relieves anxiety-related disorders.
Improves mental clarity
Good yoga practices which include breathing exercises and meditation improve mental clarity, intelligence, alertness and enhance concentration.
Research shows that yoga helps to boost self-esteem through mantra chanting, prayer and meditation, especially among young adults and adolescents.
Helps in insomnia
Lack of sleep is an issue of concern that can wreak havoc on the fitness of even a healthy person. Through mind and body relaxation, yoga significantly increases sleep patterns and alleviates other associated diseases like acidity problems and heartburn.
High cortisol levels can also be responsible for depression due to the fluctuation of serotonin balance (a chemical linked to the depressive attitude). Yoga practices can help step down cortisol levels and gradually help you overcome depression.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is usually practised alongside meditation because it helps participants relax the mind and encourages them to redirect their thoughts and stay positive always.
This is possible because of the concentrated focus that’s applied while holding postures. In the process of holding a posture, you exercise deep focus on sensations in your body and your breath which is not far from what you do during a breath meditation.
For this reason, it can help ease mental health concerns and can be effective in altering our thoughts and habits.
Meditation, just like yoga, has innumerable benefits that will help you crush stressors and triggers that can cause relapse.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
- Increased self-awareness
- Improved attention span
- Improved quality of sleep
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased flexibility
- Improved strength
- Muscle toning
- Weight loss
- Increased energy levels
- Improved respiration and circulatory health
- Strengthened athletic ability
- Yoga can help reduce chronic back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches.
Remember, you don’t have to feel or look a certain type of way to practice yoga. It is a healthy practice for everyone regardless of gender and age. Most importantly, yoga is for anyone who desires to enjoy the present moments.