Yoga is an ancient practice believed to have created over 5,000 years ago in Northern India by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. The word “yoga” is even found in the Red Veda, known as the oldest sacred text in the world.
Hatha yoga, or the physical practice, incorporates discipline to strengthen the body and mind. This osteopathic approach to wellness focuses on your body’s natural tendency to heal itself. Yoga helps circulation and blood flow, getting more oxygen to your cells and improving cell function. Moving through different yoga postures creates lymph drainage from contracting and stretching your muscles. Draining the lymphatic system helps fight off infection, destroy cancerous cells, and rids toxic waste within the cells.
During the pandemic, many people are looking for exercises they can do at home, without having to risk going to a gym. Yoga can seamlessly fit into any schedule; it can be practiced anywhere at any time, and no one else’s presence is necessary. Not only is yoga beneficial for your physical health, but it also clears your mind and helps you maintain a positive outlook during these trying times.
Physical health benefits of yoga include:
- increased flexibility
- improved mobility, posture, and balance
- better respiration, vitality, and energy
- weight loss
- enhanced circulatory health
- Heightened athletic ability
- Injury prevention
- Improved strength and muscle tone
- Boosted immune system
Yoga benefits mental health by:
- Helping stress management
- Encouraging healthy coping skills
- Creating mental clarity
- Resetting your mindset
- Sharpening concentration
- Helping control anger
- Increasing body awareness
- Giving you a positive outlook, optimism, and calmness
When it comes to the various ways yoga can improve your life, the list is truly endless.
The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found yoga can lower your risk of heart disease. So much so, that the American Heart Association suggests practicing yoga to prevent heart-related health issues and to maintain health after a cardiac event.
It’s also believed that specific poses like skull shining breathing (kapalbhati pranayama) were designed to help congestion and fight against cold and flu symptoms. Because breathing is such a significant part of the practice, yoga has been proven to improve lung function and expand breathing capabilities. In a time where a respiratory virus is wreaking havoc, strengthening your lungs is a simple yet effective way to protect your health.
Other poses that can help you recover from feeling under the weather include the standing forward bend, supported bridge pose, legs up the wall pose, supported bound angle pose, reclining twist, and widespread forward bend. For visual representations of these poses courtesy of Yoga Journal, click here.
Additionally, certain yoga poses are said to relieve the following:
- Chronic stress
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Menopausal symptoms
- Digestive issues
- Back pain
Yoga practice is just that—practice. In order to see and sustain positive changes in your life, it’s important to be consistent with your routine.
Kyle ER & Hospital encourages our readers to invest in their body’s health and wellness!
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Kyle ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
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