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Today, on International Yoga Day, I would like to direct your attention towards one of the world’s healthiest practice “Yoga” as we are celebrating today the 98th Birth Anniversary of Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar better known as B.K.S. Iyengar. He was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world as he was the one who took yoga to a world level and even introduced an all new form of yoga, named after him, Iyengar Yoga. Today I am just giving my helping hand in his dream to reach each and every person on the earth and teach them how yoga can change everyone’s life.
You’ve probably heard by now that yoga is good for you. Maybe you’ve even tried it and discovered that it makes you feel better. For 5,000 years, hardcore yoga practitioners have been touting yoga’s mental and physical powers. Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert to reap the benefits — adding just a few poses to your daily routine can help your health in all kinds of unexpected ways. Slowly and steadily you can explore it more as you become familiar and easy with it and try more poses and disciplines it has in it.
A regular yoga practice does increase flexibility and help strengthen and lengthen your muscles, provides inner relief, boosts self-confidence, and gives mental peace. From top to bottom of your body, and from better bowel movements to steamier sex, you might be surprised what a little time on the mat can do for you. When put together, all the benefits contribute to an increased feeling of well-being, which helps explain why so many people have harmony in their lives. And when one is in harmony, the journey through life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling.
The benefits that you can expect from the very first session of yoga you perform are:
- Weight loss:
Yes! Yoga benefits here too. Surprised how some simple moves without much of workout can do that? Doing an hour of yoga won’t likely burn as many calories as doing a high intensity interval workout, but yoga has a way of normalizing body weight by restoring hormonal balance in the body. Hence people who practice yoga and are mindful eaters are more in tune with their bodies. They may be more sensitive to hunger cues and feelings of fullness. And healthy eating habits and lowered stress levels can do wonders to your weight management program.
- Boosts Immunity:
Yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. And it doesn’t take long. It has been found that the changes occur while one is on mat and is performing yoga. Various yoga poses massage organs and strengthens muscles; different breathing techniques and meditation release stress and improves immunity. Thus, yoga helps to boost immunity by simply increasing overall health.
- Improves Flexibility:
You only need to include yoga in your daily routine to benefit from a body that is strong, supple and flexible. Moving and stretching in yoga will help you become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to tight areas. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips. As we age, our flexibility usually decreases and we prefer to sit for longer duration which leads to pain and immobility. Thus yoga would, in turn, help relieve you from body pain due to incorrect posture.
- Lowers Stress:
Yoga is one of the most commonly used mind-body interventions recommended for patients suffering from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The practice of yoga down-regulates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis — the brain function that triggers a physical or mental reaction in response to stress. Meditation, exercise, and breathing through the nose, all help to sooth the stress response system. Yoga reduces your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and eases your breathing. Thus lowers the stress in mind and body.
- Eases Migraine:
Studies have found that migraine sufferers have fewer and less painful migraines after three months of yoga practice. A combination of mental stressors and physical misalignments create migraines and other issues. Yoga being helpful for both, mental stress and physical postures and misalignments, helps migraine patients live a normal or less painful life. It also gives power to fight with pain; hence it becomes must for all migraine patients.
- Improves Sexual Performance:
Studies have found that yoga increases blood flow into the genital area, which is important for arousal and erections, and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. Thus, yoga can improve sexual desire, arousal, performance, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction and that too not only for men, but also for women. Mentally, the breathing and mind control involved with the practice can also improve performance because somehow sex is more or less related to your mind control and focus.
- Respiratory Health:
Further adding on to the health benefits of yoga, yoga is one of the few practices that benefit our respiratory system. Most of us take shallow breaths and don’t give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, calledpranayama, focus our attention on breathing and teach us how to take deeper breaths, which benefits the entire body. Hence, one who practices yoga end up having some benefits including increased lung capacity, more tidal volume and an ability to reduce the pace of their breathing which has been directly linked to a longer lifespan.
- Fights Insomnia:
Sleep issues are either because of anxiety or stress in your mind. Your head can’t stop spinning; you don’t know how to relax. Studies have found that yoga significantly improves before sleep bed time and sleep quality for people with insomnia. This can be attributed to yoga’s ability to help people deal with stress. Breathing and mental exercises allow the mind to slow down, so it becomes easy to get a sound sleep.
- Reduces Pain:
Yoga can be very effective at relieving pain. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from muscle cramp, back pain, arthritis, or migraine headaches, yoga has been proven to effectively reduce pain from all these ailments. Yoga helps one improve his posture, and half of these pains related to posture like back pain, neck pain, they sort of disappear once one starts to perform yoga regularly. Rigorous breathing practices and meditation has even been shown to be more effective than pain killers to reduce pain.
- Increases Self Confidence:
Doing yoga improves your mind-body connection, giving you a better awareness of your own body. During yoga, you learn to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment, putting you in better touch with your physical being. You also learn to accept your body as it is without judgement. Over time, this leads to feeling more comfortable in your own body, boosting your self-confidence.
These are just a handful of benefits that you can reap out of yoga as soon as you start practicing it. Yoga has got a lot more to offer like; it gives glow to skin, fights hair fall, improves bone density, improves strength and most importantly by reducing stress and improving the nervous system functionality it helps one lead a happier life.
So, don’t wait for my call, and make yoga a daily routine practice. You might be enjoying physical fitness but, trying yoga will tell you what being mentally healthy is and how it feels to be completely healthy.
Practice Yoga…!! Stay Healthy…!!