What is Yoga?
Yoga is a life-long practice that focuses not on goals and achievements, but rather on experiencing a journey towards inner peace and freedom.
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago with classical techniques dating back more than 5,000 years. It is a science that systematically creates harmony of the entire body, mind and spirit. "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit verb yuj, thus meaning to yoke or to unite. The practice of yoga brings union between one's consciousness and the universal consciousness. Yoga combines physical movements with breathing and meditation techniques to bring forward physiological and psychological benefits.
Yoga provides improved health and longevity, as well as creates a heightened level of self-understanding and awareness.The yoga poses were designed to revitalize and bring balance to the musculoskeletal and glandular systems. The breathing techniques (pranayama) are based on the concept that breath is the source of life and energy (prana) in the body. The integration of yoga poses and breathing techniques helps one attain a steady, quiet mind and a strong, open body. The yoga poses and breathing techniques are also vital for preparing the body and mind for periods of meditation. The combination of yoga poses, breathing, and meditation makes one more readily able to free oneself from daily pressures and stresses.
Millions of people around the world are practicing yoga as part of their holistic, preventative health & lifestyle choices.
Benefits of regular yoga classes
Yoga is one of the most popular fitness disciplines in the country today, Yoga is now popular than ever being practised by both the young and old, corporate professionals, students and sports enthusiasts. Yoga has the ability to alleviate stress, promote balance, improve flexibility and boost feelings of well-being. Many people find yoga helps transform their body & mind in many beneficial ways.
Not only does yoga improve your balance and flexibility, it also improves your heart health. Recent research by the Yale University School of Medicine found that practising yoga at least 3 times a week can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Yoga also helped improve the integrity of blood vessels in those that already suffered from heart disease
Regular yoga practice has been shown in many research studies to reduced stress. This can then help normalize the stress response and reduce the extremes of anxiety & depression.
Better Lung Function
Correct breathing techniques are important for all aspects of yoga. Researchers revealed that a 20-minute Yoga sequence improved respiratory capacity similar to that of aerobic exercise. The biggest impact on chest expansion was found on certain asanas (poses) including the tree posture, cat-cow pose, seated, half spinal twist & psychic union pose
It appears that yoga improves sexual function in both men and women, and may even be helpful in preventing and treating poblems in this area. Yoga improves blood flow in ALL areas of the body, improves mood, reduces stress, and encourages relaxation,
Lower Blood Sugar
Even though yoga is low impact it provides the same benefits of vigorous exercises. Researchers suggest that yoga may lower the risk of diabetes complications by reducing free radicals in the body that are implicated in oxidative stress and it’s damaging effects.
A study published in 2011 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine showed that 12 weeks of yoga improved symptoms in people living with chronic back pain. Yoga can be modified to suit different body types and those suffering from various conditions. It is suggested you discuss this option with your health care professional.
If you would like to lower your risk of osteoporosis Practise yoga. According to a study in 2010 study called “Yoga for Osteoporosis”, you can prevent or slow, and in some cases even reverse the process of bone loss. It was also noted that yoga did not cause any serious injuries or fractures in this study.
A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga can help the brain function better. Cognitive scores of the participants who did yoga were also higher than those who did aerobic exercise.
Regular yoga classes can uplift mood and well-being. In a study from the Washington State University Cancer Care Northwest (US Oncology), in Spokane, they found that yoga improved the stress response of breast cancer survivors.
Practice yoga regularly at least 3 times a week if you can and you will notice a huge difference in the way you look but also in the way you feel.
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