The Seven Benefits of Yoga

July 7th, 2013

Yoga has been tested time and again and has been proven to augment mental and physical well-being. Several medical studies have shown that yoga is effective due to a heightened sense of self-awareness. Some of the benefits of yoga are listed below.
1. Relieves depression– An hour of yoga has been associated with boosting the levels of a chemical called GABA in the brain by 27%. Boston university’s school of medicine found that slowing the breathing and heart rate by yoga helped tackle depression and enforced a more optimistic and positive outlook in an individual. Depression can lead to other serious diseases like heart problems, elevated blood pressure, alzheimer’s, several chronic illnesses and pain.

2. Soreness and pain relief– People suffering from soreness and acute pain in back, shoulders, legs, or in other regions reported a decline in intensity of the pain and over time total relief from it. Also, people who practiced yoga did not need pain medications.

3. Good posture and relief from sciatica, scoliosis and herniated discs- Yoga poses help in strengthening the back muscles and improve posture. A study at the West Virginia School of Medicine has found that 77% of people practicing yoga reported a decrease in back pain. 88% also reduced or stopped their pain medications. Yoga has also proved beneficial in case of sciatica, scoliosis, herniated discs, acute and chronic back pain, etc.

4. Relaxation and sleep– Yoga helps you relax and thus people practicing yoga regularly sleep better. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Your Brain on Yoga, found that yoga has drastically improved the condition of avid insomniacs and people who had difficulty falling asleep. Doing yoga improved circulation of blood and oxygenation which led to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A sense of calm is perceived when practicing yoga daily.

5. Decreases arthritis pain– Yoga incorporates several slow and controlled movements through its various poses which have led to reduction of pain and swellings in joints caused by both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

6. Self-esteem and confidence– A study showed that women who did yoga improved their satisfaction about how their body felt by 20%. Relaxation and better sleep habits also help you further your success and self-esteem. Coordination, dexterity, strength, steadiness, balance, depth perception all improve because of yoga.

7. Toned body– Yoga has improved the physical looks of many. It targets all muscle groups. Yoga helps in toning up the entire body.
Remain happy and healthy by taking out a few minutes each day to practice yoga and ensure your overall well-being. With enhanced strength and immunity, be ready to take up the challenges of every day life.

By Karuna Patel PT

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