Yoga for overall health and fitness
Benefits of Yoga
The word yoga has gained much more attention worldwide in recent years. The word Yoga means binding.
It means Yoga binds your body with your mind. Thus, improving your consciousness in the present.
Let’s look at the benefits that yoga can bring to our health.
Yoga in Improving flexibility
Yoga is well known to increase flexibility. Even less intense yoga poses are known to increase flexibility.
Flexibility is a very important aspect to have good health. Flexibility decreases as a part of aging. Hence, this problem significantly decreased in people who do yoga.
Yoga in increasing strength
Yoga also increases strength along with flexibility. Some yoga poses are known to improve your muscle strength.
Yoga for mental health
Yoga has some best asanas/postures which help to maintain your mental health.
Asanas like Yoga Nidra is known to reduce anxiety and stress significantly. There are also deep breathing exercises like pranayam, which can help you avoid the diversion of thoughts.
Another most popular technique is meditation. Mediation is the practice of bringing your attention to the present whenever it’s wavering between the present and the past.
Yoga for immunity
Yoga is very effective in handling stress. As per the studies, stress harms your immunity. So, as the stress remains under control when you practice yoga, your immunity is also enhanced.
Yoga for balance
All the asanas in yoga require some balance to hold them in position. Yoga also improves the inner alignment of your parts. Hence, with regular practice of yoga, your body’s balance can be significantly improved.
Yoga for sleep
As yoga helps in improving mental stability and reduces stress, one can also see improvement in their sleep. Yoga Nidra is popularly known to enhance sleep.
Yoga not only helps to sleep, but it also helps to fall asleep quickly and have deep sleep throughout.
Yoga for better cardiovascular functioning
Yogic breathing known as pranayama is the asana that is known to enhances the functioning of many systems in the body.
It is known to especially enhance the cardiovascular system. Pranayama is a series of breathing exercises that helps in cleansing the whole body.
Yoga for fitness
Yoga is known not only to improve flexibility and balance but also to help one to be fit.
Let us see some of the asanas which can help in maintaining fitness
Boat Pose (Naukasana)
Lie down on the floor on your back and keep your legs together. Slowly raise your head, shoulders, and upper back at 30 degrees and your legs pointing upwards approximately at 60 degrees.
Hold in this position for some time and come back to your original position.
This asana activates your muscles in the abdomen, helps in fat control, and improves digestion.
Both leg raise pose (Dwi pada uttanasana)
Lie down on your spinal cord and place both your hands adjacent to or underneath your buttocks.
Lift both your legs at 90 degrees while expanding your abdomen and then lower both your legs to 45 degrees or 30 degrees while contracting your abdomen.
You can do this either 5 or 8 times and hold for at least 5 abdominal breathes in each position.
It’s effective in reducing the fat around your lower abdomen and strengthens your spine.
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie on the floor on your abdomen and place your palms beside your shoulders.
Now slowly lift your head, shoulders, and upper back upwards and look up at the sky.
This asana stretches the abdomen and strengthens the hand muscles, neck, and shoulders.
Get into a tabletop position with the support of your knees and hands. Your shoulders, elbows, and palms should be aligned straight. Your knees should be at right angles to the floor.
Now lift your back towards the sky while inhaling and bring your head facing towards the ground.
Again sink your abdomen towards the ground while exhaling and bring your head facing towards the sky. Repeat this asana a few times.
This asana is very good in improving the flexibility of the spine, and lower back neck.
Head to toe (Paschimottanasana)
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight and your spine straight.
Raise your hands upwards while inhaling and exhaling and hold your toes with your hands by stretching your spine forwards. Remain in this position a few times.
You can feel the stretch in your knees and buttocks. It helps in good blood circulation to the abdominal muscles.
Half spinal pose (Ardha matsyendrasana)
Sit straight with your spine erect and your legs stretched straight. Bend your right leg and try to bring it under the left buttock and bring your left leg beside the outside of the right knee.
Try to turn your upper body towards the left and hold in this position for some time.
This asana opens up the chest and stretches your spine and tightens your abdomen.
Pranayama is done alongside yoga. It is an ancient breathing technique used by yogis in India. It is gaining more popularity nowadays due to its numerous benefits.
It involves different breathing methods. It is a powerful technique that is used in the detoxification of your whole body.
Pranayama is a series of three processes. They are Inhalation (Puraka), Retention (Khumbakha), and exhalation (Rechaka).
Types of pranayama
- Bellow breathe (Bhastrika Pranayama)
- Skull shining (Kapalbhati Pranayama)
- Alternate Nadi Shodhan
- Bhramari Pranayama
Bhastrika Pranayama also called ‘Bellow breathe’ is used to boost the energy in the body for proper functioning.
Kapalbhati Pranayama also called ‘Skull shining’ can help in the detoxification of the body.
Nadi Shodhan also known as the ‘Alternate Nostril technique’ is a powerful technique used to center your brain by bringing both the left and right sides of your brain into alignment.
Bhramari Pranayama also called ‘bee breath’ is known to calm the mind and provide mental stability.
Finally, yoga has numerous benefits on your health and it helps to stay fit. As the main purpose of yoga lies in aligning your body with your mind, you can get both mentally and physically healthy if you can make yoga a part of your daily life.