Enjoy the Health Benefits of Yoga

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Tibetan Yoga Poses: Fountain of Youth?
Tibetan Yoga Poses: Fountain of Youth?

Build Flexibility and Strength While Experiencing Deep Relaxation

Yoga improves your health by improving your strength, flexibility, balance, and posture. Yoga enhances attention and mood and helps in the prevention and management of disease.

Yoga is a physical discipline that’s been practiced in the East for thousands of years. As the practice becomes more popular in the West, more and more people have begun to talk about the health benefits of yoga. Yoga develops strength and flexibility, improves balance and posture and can help treat chronic illnesses like asthma and heart disease. It’s even believed to relieve the symptoms of mental illnesses like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How Yoga Exercises Improve Flexibility, Strength, Balance, and Posture

Yoga postures, or asanas, stretch the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even the fascia sheath that surrounds the muscles, enabling yoga practitioners to acquire more flexibility than those who follow conventional exercise routines. Yoga stretching movements help flush out lactic acid from muscular tissue, resulting in tension, stiffness, tiredness, and discomfort. Yoga asanas lubricate joints, allowing practitioners to move more freely.

Some yoga schools promote a more strenuous, physically active practice, while other schools focus primarily on relaxation and breathing techniques. However, all styles of yoga provide practitioners with the opportunity to improve muscular tone and core strength. Increased core strength improves posture and balance and your awareness of your own body, making it less likely that you may hurt yourself when practicing yoga or engaging in other activities.

Why Yoga Asanas Promote Relaxation and May Boost Your Mood

Whichever style of yoga you choose to pursue, students must master mindful breathing. Certain classes of yoga, such as Kundalini, place a strong emphasis on the breathing techniques, or pranayama, that are at the heart of the practice. Yoga breathing techniques teach practitioners to lengthen and deepen the breath, which increases lung capacity and elicits the relaxation response, to lower stress hormones and usher in feelings of calm and well-being.

Though scientific study on the effects of yoga exercises on attention and mood has not been completed, yoga practitioners and instructors assert that yoga advantages include enhanced concentration and mood. Scientists believe that yoga asanas and breathing techniques may relieve depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.

How Yoga Benefits Chronic Medical Conditions

A yoga school called Integrative Yoga Therapy, or IYT, has developed in the West to help medical professionals use yoga as an adjunct therapy for a wide range of chronic medical problems. Yoga benefits those with heart problems by lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate. Yoga can provide relief for the symptoms of insomnia, arthritis, asthma and other chronic medical conditions.

Regular Yoga Practice Offers Multiple Benefits

The practice of yoga asanas and breathing techniques can increase strength and flexibility while improving balance, posture and body awareness. Yoga’s deep breathing techniques help to initiate the relaxation response, which eases the effects of stress and can help practitioners feel calm, relaxed, alert and focused. Yoga’s physical and mental benefits are even helpful in treating chronic physical and mental illnesses, like heart disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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