Yoga aims to bring together the mind, the body and the spirits. People that practice yoga view that the mind and body are one and that if given the right tools, it can find harmony and find a way to heal. Practicing yoga is then considered to be a form of therapy. Awareness of posture and patterns of movement, flexibility and relaxation are only a few of the things that can be achieved with the practice. To feel fit, be more energetic, be happier and more at peace are only some of the reasons why people choose to practice yoga.
Yoga dates back to thousands of years of practice, consisting of ancient theories, observations and principles about the connection between mind and body that are now proven by modern day medicine. Research has proven that there are a lot of health benefits, whether physiological, psychological or biochemical, that can be obtained through the practice of yoga.
Some of the physiological benefits include a decrease in pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure which in other words would mean that the cardiovascular and respiratory efficiencies increase which can help in the increase of immunity. Bodily functions like gastrointestinal, endocrine and excretory either normalizes or improves which can help in the normalization of weight. Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase which can help in the improvement of posture, dexterity, balance and the integrated functioning of body parts. In essence, gaining all of that can help decrease any pains in the joints or muscles. With the practice of yoga, endurance, energy level and even eye-hand coordination improves. Weight can also normalize.
The psychological benefits of yoga include the increased awareness of somatic and kinesthetic waves, improvement of mood and subjective well-being which subsequently increases social adjustment. With a calmer mind, concentration, memory, attention and learning efficiency can also improve.
The biochemical benefits of yoga are effects of some of the physiological benefits. Levels of glucose, sodium, bad cholesterol and triglycerides decrease while levels of good cholesterol, cholinesterase, ATP, hemoglobin, vitamin C and serum protein increase. These changes are all beneficial for a healthier body.
Apart from all of this, the benefits of yoga have been compared versus that of the benefits of regular exercise. With the slow dynamic and static movements of yoga, there is a lower risk of injury to muscles and ligaments as opposed to regular exercise routines due to the lesser effort and relaxed way of movement which subsequently makes for better energizing since breathing is not taxed. There is also a more balanced activity of opposing muscle groups, thus being able to gain a normalized muscle tone instead of getting bulky.
Yoga does not need to be for people that are extremely flexible. It can be for people that are looking to improve on their flexibility or other areas of their physical or mental health. With these many benefits, its no wonder why yoga has been a successful practice for thousands of years.