Benefits of Yoga for Mind, Body and Spirit

Physical activity is an important factor for maintaining health. But due to injuries, chronic pain, age and other reasons, a person cannot always engage in active sports. In this case, yoga can be the best option for physical activity. There are special yoga programs and exercises that are designed to relieve pain and discomfort in diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic back pain. Although yoga is not the easiest way to get in shape, but at the same time it has a lot of undeniable advantages.
Unification of body, mind and spirit

The practice of yoga has existed for more than five thousand years and combines spiritual, physical and mental elements. Yoga is often associated with a peculiar form of meditation that requires a person to fully concentrate in order to consistently perform asanas. During yoga classes, a person’s worldview gradually changes, he begins to better understand his body, manage it and perceive life more positively.

A person becomes more flexible, physically hardy and perceptive. His mental abilities, memory and reaction improve. Yoga is not for nothing considered a unique system of healing the whole body. According to recent Western studies, yoga improves the functioning of the immune system, reduces the risk of developing migraines, increases activity, sleep becomes stronger, and excessive appetite decreases. These facts largely explain the fact that yoga is so popular among modern people who monitor their health and emotional state.

Yoga for Mind

Yoga Practice for Heart Health

A number of studies conducted by scientists have shown that yoga can be very useful for the normal functioning of the heart. It helps to improve atrial fibrillation and get rid of such problems as irregular heartbeat. The studied people practiced yoga two or three times a week. A month later, they noticed a decrease in the level of depression, anxiety. A few months later, the heart rate decreased (from 67-70 beats per minute to 60-62).

In addition, the practice of yoga (in particular, varieties of Hatha yoga) has been proven by scientists to help normalize blood pressure. As part of the study, children aged 11-13 years with early stages of hypertension practiced yoga for three months. Due to this, their body became more flexible, and their blood pressure was lower, compared to those children with hypertension who were engaged in music and painting. It is important that yoga practice is suitable for people of almost any age and physique.

Strengthening mental health

It is well known that yoga is effective for many physical and nervous disorders. More than a hundred official studies have been conducted in the world that have proved this fact. Yoga practice is especially effective for mild depressive disorders and insomnia. Yoga is also useful as an additional therapy in the treatment of schizophrenia and ADHD.

According to British research, yoga classes can have an effect on the body similar to the effect of antidepressants and psychotherapy, directly affecting neurotransmitters and stimulating the production of serotonin. Scientists have found that this kind of practice, with proper and regular implementation, reduces anxiety, aggression, improving emotional health in general.

Doing yoga at least once a week, after 2 months you can already notice that the nervous tension subsides, and the concentration of attention and control over the emotional state increase. Such exercises increase the level of endorphins in the blood, which helps to get rid of stress faster and get in a good mood. Due to all of the above factors, yoga classes for prisoners have already been introduced in some foreign prisons in order to reduce their level of aggression and impulsivity.


Improved metabolism and weight loss

According to scientists, yoga has a beneficial effect on the formation of leptin in the body — a hormone that directly affects the control of energy expenditure in the body. People who practiced yoga on a regular basis had 35% higher leptin levels than the rest.

Resistance to leptin and insulin is directly related to obesity, and a violation of their ability to transmit information to receptors in the brain is a fundamental factor in the occurrence of some chronic diseases. In addition, yoga has exercises aimed at accelerating metabolism and the work of the gastrointestinal tract. In the process of such exercises, all the muscles of the body work, which helps to correct the figure and maintain a normal weight.

Another recent study proved that Tibetan yogis are able to generate enough heat in the body, which helps them survive in extremely cold conditions even without clothes and not succumb to hypothermia. This was made possible thanks to the ability of yogis to activate brown adipose tissue in the body, which helps thermoregulation and protects the body from the cold.

Newborns and animals have more reserves of this fat than adults. It is located in the neck, around the blood vessels and in the visceral fat area. American studies in 2012 proved that it is possible to activate brown adipose tissue with the help of yoga classes and cold temperatures. Under such conditions, the body is more likely to lose excess fat, and weight is better controlled. This is largely why most trainers advise practicing yoga outdoors and without shoes.


The benefits of yoga for the mind

The brain is the same organ of the body as all the others, which means that it can be trained and developed. Yoga is perfect for this. It provides remarkable opportunities for balancing the processes of inhibition and excitation in the brain, controls the work of the nervous system and neurohumoral regulation.

Yoga asanas develop coordination of movements, improve blood circulation in brain tissues, teach maximum concentration, concentration and calm down. Half an hour of yoga improves cognitive functions and the state of the brain in the elderly, thereby slowing down the aging process. This helps to avoid senile dementia, atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels and Alzheimer’s disease.

Yoga classes have recently become incredibly popular in modern society. Teaching this practice is a means of enrichment for all kinds of charlatans and pseudo—teachers. It is very difficult to find a really good teacher and it is important to treat this issue very responsibly, since improper yoga practice can threaten serious consequences: exacerbation of existing chronic diseases and various injuries. Before starting the course of classes, it is advisable to consult with your doctor in order to exclude contraindications.