Life offers a lot of challenges and tribulations for you to conquer in order to grow and develop as an individual. Sometimes, life’s stresses can get too much to a point that you just want to give up – and sometimes you just need a break to get everything together and make that push for a much better and brighter life. One of the many ways you can achieve this is through meditation and relaxation, and what better way to do this than by pursuing yoga? In this article, you’ll explore various yoga health benefits and how it may help you achieve the kind of relaxation you need.
Exploring Yoga: What Are The Basics
Before one explores the various health benefits of yoga, perhaps one should explore just what yoga is first. Yoga, which is Sanskrit for “to unite” or “to yolk together,” is a kind of practice that involves combining meditation with breathing techniques and physical postures to achieve unity of mind and body. Do take note however that this definition doesn’t encapsulate yoga as a whole, as yoga itself is an ascetic and spiritual discipline that’s been practiced by Indians and Hindi for over 5,000 years.
Interestingly, yoga has been on an increasing trajectory of popularity in numerous parts of the world. In America alone, citizens and practitioners spend an upwards of $2.5-billion annually on yoga, with wellness being their top reason for practicing the art. In fact, 1.7-million Americans under 17 years old also practice yoga!
Unfortunately, some do tend walking out on teachers or sessions because it’s either too hot or crowded, too advanced or too slow, there’s an offensive odor, or there are distracting classmates.
Yoga: Why Is This Activity For You
If there’s anything the above could share to us, it’s that yoga may be an increasingly-popular form of relaxation and exercise precisely because of its numerous benefits. Some people even go to places such as the Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats in Ubud, Bali for a more pleasurable experience. Is yoga really this appealing? Here are some yoga health benefits, and how it may help you should you decide to make your first step towards practicing this interesting and mesmerizing art:
- Yoga can help you manage your weight: People who practice yoga may eventually experience a decrease in total cholesterol, body water, lean mass, hip circumference, waist circumference, and body mass index throughout the course of their journey. This means yoga is an efficient way to relax and lose weight at the same time.
- Yoga can help revitalize your body and fight fatigue: Fatigue is a frequent and distressing side-effect for those who survived cancer, but also for individuals who tend to have stressful lives. Yoga appears to be able to produce invigorating effects on both mental and physical energy, and can, therefore, improve fatigue levels.
- Yoga can help you manage your stress: Another positive effect of yoga is its ability to help you be able to manage your stress. Yoga appears to be a good stress management tool, as yoga’s ability to help you calm down and relax affords you the opportunity to find positive ways of finding good mental health, well-being, and balance in life.
- Yoga can greatly aid in your sleep: Yoga is extremely capable not just of making you achieve a meditative state, but also a state of having a more relaxed sleep. Adults with untreated and undiagnosed insomnia can use yoga to help them sleep better. Those who practice yoga also get relieved of problems such as anger, tension, stress, and fatigue. They also see improvements in aspects such as sleep efficiency, sleep duration and latency, sleep quality, general well-being, and vitality.
- Yoga helps you manage depression and anxiety: Yoga can vastly help with improving mental health functioning, which makes it one of the most commonly-used methods when it comes to mind-body interventions. People who do yoga appear to show significant reductions in suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Yoga has shown to relieve hypercortisolemia or the overproduction of cortisol which is commonly observed in depression. Yoga appears to be able to reduce cortisol, which in turn makes it an “anti-stress” activity.
- Yoga helps you achieve positive effects when you have bipolar disorder: Aside from depression and anxiety, yoga appears to be of assistance to individuals with bipolar disorder. These include positive physical and cognitive effects such as reduced anxiety, increased energy, weight loss, focus, acceptance, and “a break” from thoughts.
- Yoga can help relieve arthritis and asthma: Interestingly, yoga participants didn’t just seem to have improved mental health, but physical health as well. Yoga has been found to complement therapy designed to make positive changes in the physiological and psychological outcomes related to arthritis. In the same token, those who practice yoga and its breathing exercises did appear to help those with asthmas.
- Yoga can assist in improving balance and avoid falls: Slipping, tripping, and falling is real and grave concerns for older individuals, and these often cause of disability and even death. Interestingly, exercises like tai chi and yoga showed a lot of potentials when it comes to improving balance and preventing falls, therefore potentially improving quality of life among individuals.
- Yoga can give relief to those with cancer: Cancer survivors often report experiencing cognitive problems, and those undergoing cancer treatment eventually have decreased levels of physical activity. Yoga intervention can actually reduce problems in cognition for cancer survivors and improve quality of life.
- Yoga is great for pregnancy, mothers, and babies: Yoga is an often-used relaxation and meditation tool for pregnant women. Meditation and breathing techniques can greatly help moms achieve relaxation and even aid childbirth through mental focus. Mother and baby yoga has also started to become popular, giving moms and their newborns an opportunity to bond and relax in just one session.
Conclusion: Yoga, Relaxation, Meditation For Overall Health Benefits
If you’ve ever heard of yoga, you’re likely going to imagine groups of people on mats doing strange poses and staying there for prolonged periods of time. If you’ve had your doubts about the health benefits of yoga, you’re not entirely going to be faulted for them. However, if you’ve read the above yoga health benefits and how it may help you, yoga might actually prove to be a useful exercise regimen or fitness regimen to meet both your health and relaxation needs. If you need a particular activity to keep you well-rested and well-grounded about life’s woes and worries, perhaps yoga can be the one to give you the kind of peace and tranquility you may need.
About The Author:
David Patel is an avid yoga practitioner and fitness enthusiast which, combined with his passion for writing, allowed him to write his own unique take on the health and medical niche. As a contributor to sites such as Blooming Lotus Yoga, David ensures his readers get a healthy dose of informative, entertaining, and enjoyable writing whenever he posts his pieces. Aside from yoga, David also loves cooking during his free time.