What Is Yoga And What Are Its Benefits

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Before we get into the benefits of yoga, it is important to understand what yoga really is. Many people call it an ancient method of training, and others call it a set of difficult poses. But the word ‘yoga’ actually means union. It is a practice that connects the body, mind, and spirit through different body postures, meditation, and controlled breathing.

The renowned Yogi, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev calls yoga “an expression of life.” He says, “Yoga essentially means finding the keys to the nature of the existence.”

Yoga is not just about bending or twisting the body and holding the breath. It is a mechanism to bring you into a state where you see and experience reality just the way it is. If you allow your energies to become exuberant and ecstatic, your sensory body expands. This enables you to experience the whole universe as a part of yourself, making everything one – this is the union that yoga creates.

The founder of Yoga, Patanjali said, “Sthiram sukham asanam.” It means that a posture that seems firm and comfortable is your asana. You might be surprised to know that an asana is only a preparatory step in the practice of yoga. It is a means that helps you achieve the greater good. Yoga aims to create perfect harmony between your mind, body, and spirit. When you fine-tune yourself so that everything functions wonderfully within you, you will bring out the best of your abilities.

The perfect unison can be achieved through Hatha Yoga and its various branches (Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga), depending on what you like and the problems you are looking to tackle through the practice.

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga?

Yoga as a practice has countless benefits that positively affect you both physically and mentally. The picture above gives you an overview of how yoga affects your body over a span of time. Mentioned below are the different ways yoga helps you overcome health and wellness issues. There are about 77 benefits listed. Take a look.

The Internal Health Benefits Of Yoga

Enhanced Circulation – The very first thing that yoga does is improve the circulation of blood. This means better transportation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Improved blood flow also indicates healthier organs and glowing skin.

Lowered Blood Pressure – When you practice yoga regularly, the blood circulation in the body is enhanced. This also allows oxygenation in the body. There is a significant reduction in blood pressure as the body calms down.

A Drop in The Pulse Rate – Yoga reduces the strain in the body, thereby easing it down. When the body relaxes, the pulse rate is lowered. A low pulse rate indicates that your heart is strong enough to pump more blood in a span of fewer beats.

Lowered Respiratory Rate – Yoga involves a whole lot of controlled breathing. It entails filling your lungs to their full capacity, thus allowing them to work more efficiently.

Better Cardiovascular Endurance – Yoga improves oxygenation in the body and also lowers the heart rate. This results in higher cardiovascular endurance.

Stimulation Of Organs – When you practice yoga, the internal organs are massaged, thereby increasing your resistance to diseases. Also, once you are attuned to your body, after years of practice, you will be able to tell instantly if your body doesn’t function properly.

Improvement In Gastrointestinal Health – Studies have shown that with regular practice of yoga, the digestive system is activated, and indigestion, gas, and other stomach related diseases are eliminated. Overall, the gastrointestinal functions improve in both men and women.

Increased Immunity – Yoga and immunity go hand in hand. As yoga works towards healing and enhancing every cell in the body, your body automatically becomes more immune.

Higher Levels Of Pain Tolerance – Yoga not only works towards reducing chronic pain, but it also increases the level of pain tolerance.

Increased Metabolism – A balanced metabolism is necessary to achieve ideal weight. Yoga keeps the metabolism in check.

Renewed Energy – Yoga has this ability to rejuvenate you. Most Yogis feel energized after a session of yoga.

Improved Sexuality – Yoga increases your self-confidence and offers complete relaxation and more control. This gives your sexuality a much-needed boost.

Sleep – Yoga helps you relax your mind completely. It helps you work on unnecessary tensions, thus facilitating better sleep.


Taken from a post by Shirin Mehdi

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