So many TV programs and sessions on Yoga, so many TV
stars advertising the benefits of yoga, with personal DVDs and swearing by its amazing health benefits.
Such is the power of the ancient Indian exercise.
Yoga is an ancient art followed by people for maintenance of both mental and physical health. This basically
involves, more than 75 forms of postures or asanas which when done with due diligence can alleviate even
persistent physical pain. Whenever
under stress, the body produces a hormone "cortisol". The levels of this cortisol have been found to be greatly
reduced by routine yoga.
In yoga, many forms of asanas are mainly involved in reducing or fighting stress, also termed "De-stressing asanas". Let us understand them in a brief:
- Pranayama (Square breathing)
- Setu bandha sarvangasana (Bridge pose)
- Garudasana (Eaglepose)
- Viparita karani (Legs up the wall pose)
- Balasana (Child pose)
- Uttanasana (Standing forward bend)
- Uttana shishosana (Pu-ppy pose)
- Utthita trikonasana (Extended triangle pose)
- Marjaryasana (Cat pose)
- Makarasana (Dolphin pose)
- Savasana (Corpse pose)
Whatever may be the posture adopted, flexing the body combined with concentrated breathing is
an essential to gain the complete benefit of yoga
BENEFITS OF YOGA
Apart from its major role in relieving stress, it is also found to have both physiological and psychological
benefits. Few of its benefits are as follows:
Physiological benefits of yoga
- Improves coordination between the head and the body
- Improves sleep
- Maintains proper body weight
- Strengthens immunity
- Maintains proper functioning of all the body systems
(nervous, digestive, respiratory, etc)
- It also helps in treating pimples, acne and diabetes
Psychological benefits of yoga
- Improves memory and concentration
- Improves ability to learn and understand
- Decreases hostility (state of feeling bad or getting in to angry mood)
- Improves your attention and feeling of well being
Benefits of yoga over other exercises and gym
- Yoga aids in curing various health disorders, and also managing conditions like asthma and other
- Yoga increases muscle strength and flexibility, naturally while gyming and other heavy exercises
can create soreness.
- Discontinuing yoga may not lead to deleterious effects, while if done with gyming can lead to excessive
weight gain and obesity.
- Yoga has long term advantages like developing strong immunity and a healthy
physique. However, exercising in gyms, can only give immediate short term benefits, which on discontinuation
can again bring back your system to ground zero.
- Yoga can be done even once a week and can be started again anytime. However, for exercising and gyming,
having the physical ability to carry out the same becomes imperative.
Though the above mentioned points are not to
negate the positive effects of other forms of exercise, yoga definitely becomes the winner with regards to both
being an economical and an ergonomical option.
POINTS NEED TO BE KEPT IN MIND BEFORE STARTING YOGA
- Yoga should always be done on an empty stomach.
- It should be practised on a plane thick carpet placed on the floor covered with a cloth.
- Can be done at home or in open spaces like garden.
- Some postures where excessive bending and stretching is needed, should be avoided by people
aged above 60 years of age.
Even though yoga has a number of health benefits, it also has a few disadvantages. Practising the correct
posture is extremely important and hence getting trained from a professional is advantageous. If done incorrectly,
it can aggravate pain and tense the muscles further. Some poses require too much flexing and hence cannot be
practised by older adults.
Practising yoga from a young age is the key to develop physical agility. "Use yoga
to slow your biological clock and to earn ages"!