Yoga is technically a structured form of exercise that originated in the era of Indic civilization and is being followed since then. It includes different types of exercises so that one can prevent the manifestation of numerous diseases and also remain in good shape. Also, it is regarded as an effective way of meditation to help the mind and body relax.
Yoga is being taught and followed around the world in modern times. About two billion people worldwide practice this ancient Indian exercise. One survey observed that between 2012 and 2016, the number of resident Americans practicing yoga has grown from over twenty millions to thirty-six million, which indicates that it is becoming phenomenally popular with each passing day in the USA also and without leaving any room for ambiguity. The survey also noticed that nine out of every ten Americans have a cursory knowledge about yoga, one in every three have tried it at least once in their lives, and over fifteen in every hundred Americans have a rendezvous with this exercise in the last six months.
Top benefits of yoga
A recent scientific study led by a group of Norwegian researchers observed that practicing yoga on a regular basis influences gene expression, which in turn, steps up immunity at the cellular level. The scientists also concluded that the alterations do not call for much time, the changes happened at a time when the participants were still sitting or lying on their respective mats, and they were considerably higher in comparison with a control group that went to a nature hike and were listening to relaxing music during that activity. Yoga also beefs up the functioning of the human immune system by just enhancing the overall health of a person; and as one starts to breathe better, move better, and circulate better, all the other body organs begin to work better.
Research suggested that migraine patients have less painful as well as less frequent migraines after doing yoga for three months successively. The underlying cause of migraines is yet to be fully understood by the doctors, but Bleier believes that it might well be a lethal combination of physical misalignment and mental stressors that trigger migraines and other health issues. When a person hunches over a cell phone or a computer with one’s shoulders up while head forward, this posture overlifts the trapezius muscle and also tightens the neck. This draws the head forward, thus, creating an imbalance in the muscle system and eventually resulting in nagging headaches and nasty migraines.
Works as a natural sleep aid
Researchers at the Harvard University found that two months of daily yoga practice significantly enhanced the quality of sleep in insomnia patients. Another research study found that bi-weekly sessions of yoga aided cancer survivors feel less exhausted and sleep better. This can be due to the natural ability of this exercise to help people manage stress more effectively, says Bleier. Sleep issues are pretty much like anxiety, and breathing as well as mental exercises allow the human mind to gradually relax and slow down, which results in a quality slumber at night time.
Regulates food cravings
Researchers at the University of Washington observed that doing yoga on a daily basis is related to mindful eating, which is essentially an awareness of emotional and physical sensations associated with the biological process of eating. By causing what Bleier chooses to call the breath awareness, regularly practicing yoga strengthens the connection between the human body and its mind. The realization can help one regulate the emotions associated with specific cravings, and the breathing exercises of yoga can help that person to slow down and opt for better alternatives when the cravings happen to strike.
Enhances structural integrity of the human body
A number of asanas or yoga poses are meant to help people become fit and slim, control obesity, and reduce the stress level. A research study undertaken by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) noticed that all the participants who were trained for two months in Hatha Yoga, reported an increase in their muscle mass and an improvement in their physical abilities, as every person in that experimental group were able to do more sit-ups and push-ups after the study. It is pretty evident because various yoga postures like Chaturanga stimulate the muscles in the human body precisely the way planks, crunches, and push-ups do. Yoga poses help to build stamina, flexibility, and strength.
Increases flexibility of the human body
If one practices yoga regularly; the person will start to witness a gradual and steady increase in the level of flexibility; and eventually apparently impossible postures like seated forward bend, downward facing dog, standing forward fold, etc. will become a cakewalk. In addition to that; pains and aches will begin to disappear; which are associated with lower back, tight hips, and rounded shoulders most of the times and are caused by sedentary lifestyle patterns. Overall the alignment of the body and its posture will improve significantly by an improvement in the flexibility level.
In present times; when the machines are trying their very best to become humans, perhaps, the greatest irony of fate is that humanity itself is suffering from the miseries of anxiety and stress. People are getting increasingly dependent on prescription drugs and are often unable to maintain the delicate work-life balance. However, more and more people are slowly becoming aware that traditional western medication does more harm than good, and are embracing the Hindu way of holistic living at its very best.
All kidding aside, if everyone did yoga, we would have world peace.
Rory Freedman, former modeling agent and co-author of Skinny Bitch