Why is yoga essential? From where yoga originated? What is the impact of yoga on our body and brain? – are some questions that come into our minds when we see every day the advertisements of yoga sessions around us. When we see breathing, stretching, exercising, and much more together bringing a positive change in both physical and mental health, it makes us curious to find out the impact of yoga on our body and brain?
How Yoga originated and what are Yoga Sutras?
At some point between the first and fifth century CE, the Hindu Patanjali began to codify the ancient meditative techniques which were practiced all around India. He recorded the various techniques almost as old as our Indian civilization in the written form in 196 manuals called Yoga Sutras. These texts defined yoga as the method to restrain the mind from focusing on external objects. It is basically an effort to reach the state of pure consciousness and be at peace from within.
Yoga incorporates today also the physical elements from the fields of gymnastics and wrestling. Today there are multiple approaches that have been applied to modern yoga. Physical postures, most essential breathing exercises, and spiritual contemplation.
For people of all age groups, Yoga definitely offers both physical and mental health benefits.
Contemporary studies have shown that this amazing science can prove to be beneficial in various ways. This ancient traditional yoga is a blend of physical and mental exercise and is widely seen to have its own unique advantages on health both physically and mentally in the various forms
- Improving strength and flexibility
- Boosting the functions of the heart and lungs.
- Enhances the psychological well-being of anyone.
Improving Flexibility and strength:
This is twisting your body into different physical postures of yoga stretches multiple groups of muscles together. A short-term stretching can change the water content of these muscles, ligaments, and tendons which makes them more elastic. Over time regular stretching stimulates the stem cells which then differentiate into numerous new muscle tissues and other cells that generate the elastic collision. Frequency stretching also reduces the natural reflex of the body to construct muscles, improving your pain tolerance for feats of flexibility.
Though researchers have not found that anyone form of yoga improves flexibility more than other forms, the impact of specific postures is unclear. Like any other low-impacting exercise, yoga surely improves fitness and flexibility even in healthy populations. This practice has been proved to be a potentially very powerful and effective therapeutic tool. In studies involving patients with a variety of muscular-skeletal disorders yoga has proved to be more helpful at reducing pain and improving mobility than other forms of low-impact exercise. Just adding amazing yoga to your existing normal exercise routine improves strength and flexibility even for hard-to-treat problems like chronic lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Boosting the functions of the heart and lungs:
A mix of physical exercise and regimented breathing in yoga has proven to be therapeutic for the health of the lungs. In the case of lung diseases like Chronic Bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma it shrinks the passageways that carry oxygen by weakening the membrane that brings the oxygen into the blood. But breathing exercises like those specifically found in yoga relax the muscles constructing those passageways and improve the diffusion of oxygen. This increase of the oxygen content in the blood is especially helpful for those who have weak heart muscles and find difficulty in pumping enough oxygen throughout the body and for healthy hearts surely brings good immunity. This practice can lower blood pressure and also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
Enhances the psychological well-being of anyone:
Yoga is the most widely celebrated benefit and is the most difficult to prove its psychological effects on human beings. Despite the long-standing association between yoga and psychological well-being, there is little conclusive evidence on how the practice of yoga affects our mental health. In disorders like depression and anxiety amongst all age groups, yoga is claimed to be very beneficial. Since the diagnosis of these conditions like depression or anxiety and their severity is difficult to quantify, the impact of yoga in such cases is hard to be quantified. But it’s proved with the evidence that yoga can help reduce symptoms of stress as well as meditation or relaxation.
We can pen down broadly the following benefits of yoga on our brain and body both-
- Yoga helps to improve the strength, balance, and flexibility of the body.
- For back pain, yoga is surely a boon
- Yoga eases arthritis symptoms.
- Better heart and lungs health.
- Yoga helps a lot in treating insomnia so you sleep better.
- Yoga releases happy hormones leading to a brighter mood.
- Yoga helps you manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Yoga connects your mind and body, so you can work better professionally.
- Yoga promotes overall wellbeing- better self-care.
- Makes us more mindful.
Yoga is recommendable for everyone:
Yoga is a must to enhance the immunity of your body, for your good health, to increase both mental and physical strength, and to increase the flexibility of your body. Incorporating yoga into your routine is highly recommendable to have a balance emotionally, physically, and mentally. 3-4 times per week, everyone must take some time out to practice yoga for their own better self. It will surely bring a noticeable difference in terms of physical and mental health leading to more productivity in work. Research in Yoga is still evolving and work is being done so that in the future larger studies can be incorporated with diverse participants which can measure the impact of yoga on heart attacks, cancer rates, and cognitive functions of the brain.