The Health Benefits of Yoga Practice


As well as enjoying yourself and feeling more relaxed, yoga has positive effects on several systems within your body.

Yoga helps you build your health and helps you develop long-term health benefits. Yoga teachers you how deal with stress both physically and mentally and shows you how to live a more relaxed lifestyle. As well as enjoying yourself and feeling more relaxed, practicing yoga has positive effects on several systems within your body as described below.

Circulation and blood pressure. Firstly the way your blood circulates around your body is improved. Postures such as the inverted asanas help bring the blood back to your heart as your legs will be above rather than below the heart. This means your heart has to work less and can it work more efficiently. It also means you are less likely to suffer from varicose veins as the effects of gravity on the blood circulation are reversed. Child's pose also helps bring your blood circulation back to normal. And the breathing techniques of yoga allow more oxygen to reach your organs so you have more energy within. More oxygen also brings the skin and the brain so they are more healthy too.

Heart rate. Your heart rate is slowed down because yoga works to stimulate your 'parasympathetic nervous system'. This is the part of the nervous system within that relaxes us. Normal daily activities in the modern world increase the effects of the 'sympathetic nervous system' and our heart rate increases. Yoga returns our heart rate to normal.

Breathing rate. The breathing exercises of yoga combined with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system result in a lowered breathing rate. This means that the lungs will be working more effectively.

Cardiovascular health. Exercises such as the sun salutations and the vinyasas provide very effective cardiovascular exercise whereby exercising the heart. Endurance also improves as a result of a lower heart rate and more oxygen reaching the tissues within the body.

Internal organs. The internal organs such as the liver and kidneys are massaged in yoga exercises keeping them healthy.

Gastrointestinal system. Asanas which work the abdominal region of your body improve the health of the gastrointestinal system.

Immune system. Yoga strengnthens the immune system. Many yoga postures such as cobra, fish, bridge and bow open up the chest and hence stimulate the thymus gland. The thymus gland has an important function in the role of the immune system.

Metabolism. Postures such as the plow work on the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland controls your metabolic rate. Once your metabolic rate has come to normal so does your body weight.

Youthfulness. Practice of yoga asanas helps to keep your blood circulation at its optimum since your body can remove toxins and supply oxygen and nutrients to all the vital organs. Joints are also kept mobile. These are all important factors in helping keep you young.

Posture. Yoga backward bending asanas such as bridge, camel and wheel strengthen your back muscles and hence strengthen your posture. Other asanas such as fish open up the chest and shoulder area since correcting your posture.

Stronger back. By strengthening the back muscles yoga helps to decrease the compression on your spine. In the long term this means a stronger and healthier lower back and a stronger and healthier upper back.

Strength. The balancing asanas develop strength in a very natural way by using your body's own weight as resistance. Arm balances develop upper body strength and leg balances develop lower body strength.

Core strength. The balancing asanas as well as other asanas used in yoga strengthen your core so helping with posture. Coordination and balance are also improved by practicing the balancing asanas.

Stress. When you are stressed the muscles in your body tense up. Yoga takes the presupposition that the mind and the body are linked. Here by stretching the muscles back out with asana practice, the muscles relax and as the muscles in the body relax, the mind automatically relaxes.

Sleep. As yoga postures help to relax your body and meditation and breathing techniques help to relax your mind you will find that your sleep improves.

Healthier Heart. By lowering stress, helping you normalize your weight and providing cardiovascular exercise, yoga exercises help you develop a healthy heart.

Asthma. Postures such a fish, bridge, wheel and camel open up the intercostal muscles and hence the lungs and this in turn can help with the symptoms of asthma.

Source by Namit Kathoria

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