The Physiology Of Yoga
How could the holding of a physical pose, like dolphin pose, neurobiologically relax you and also strengthen the mind and body?
Yoga practice changes the firing patterns of the nerves and chemical makeup of the bodys fluids and blood gases that activates a relaxation response. By concentrating on carrying out the specific body posture and alignment of a pose and then holding it as you breathe deeply, the body starts to shift from a state of biochemical arousal and tension to calm and relaxation. Relaxing yourself deeply into a yoga pose through deep breathing lowers the brains response to threat. The body starts to turn off arousing nerve chemicals, like adrenaline andstops dumping fatty acids and sugar into the bloodstream for brain, muscle, and motor energy. Also, sodium leaves the inside of the bodys cells. This slows down the rate of nerve firing and further relaxes your brain, heart, and muscles. This state of biochemical relaxation oxygenates the blood, restores blood acidity and alkalinity balance, and reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and motor activity.
Yoga postures work on all systems of the body. Besides strengthening and elongating muscles, yoga postures tone up glands, internal organs, and spine nerves. Additionally, increased blood flow helps the digestive system to better extract nutrients from the foods you eat and the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins from the body.
The Incredible Benefits Of Yoga For Your Body
Regardless of the level of your expertise, if you begin to incorporate yoga into your routine, it will quickly uplift the quality of your life. After all, yoga has incredible benefits for mental and physical health. Especially if youre suffering from a certain health condition, yoga will help you get rid of it and become a better version of yourself. For those who suffer from chronic health conditions, yoga is nothing but a breath of fresh air. This is why yoga therapists are flocked with hundreds of patients every year. As soon as you visit them, they will provide you with a tailor-made plan according to your needs. in this feature, we will sift you through the incredible benefits of yoga for your body:
Yoga Benefits Heart Health
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to;healthier hearts.;Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.Try it:;Downward Dog PoseGet on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.
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Yoga Connects You With Like
Participating in a yoga session means that you will eventually get to meet new people every day, especially if you have been looking forward to making new friends and expanding the horizons of your thought, yoga will enable you to do it. Even during an online session, one might start feeling demotivated. However, when an individual comes across like-minded people and befriends them, life becomes interesting. Here, you can also get a customized yoga plan according to your needs.
I’m Not New To Movement
Some almost 15 years ago I was new to yoga after being run over by a car as a pedestrian. At that time I had no aspiration to do a full backbend or handstand or arm balance or put my foot behind my head. All I wanted to do was move by myself, drive myself, propel my actions without being afraid of breaking. I learned how resilient the body is and how fragile at the same time. Why did I start yoga? Because of the physical benefits. I don’t apologize for it any more, although I used to for a while when the yogier than thou yogis got me down. I thought that even though I loved the movement and that’s why I was in it I had to have loftier goals. But I’ve come full circle.
Yoga is for the mind. But it moves through the gateway of the body. Humans are physical beings.
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You Might Lose Weight
If you’ve always thought that high-intensity yoga classes were the only way to lose weight, it’s time to retrain your brain. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with those stylesand research showsAshtanga, Bikram, and Iyengar varieties can be particularly effective thanks to their aerobic tendenciesa study from the American Journal of Managed Care found that a restorative practice can also be effective in lowering that number on the scale.
In the study, researchers divided a group of overweight women into two groupsthose who took regular restorative yoga classes, and those who participated in stretching sessions, both of which lasted for 48 weeks. Those in the yoga group didn’t bust out any hard-core postures or speedy flows; researchers said the classes focused instead on relaxation and stress reduction. Poses were held for long periods of time, measured breathing was emphasized, and meditative music was played.
With all that in mind, you’d think weight loss wouldn’t really be the end goal. But this group lost significantly more subcutaneous fat than the stretching group did in the first six months and kept it off longer. So, this just goes to show that it’s not always about going hard-core all the time.
Surprising Health Benefits Of Yoga
By Meredith Walker for www.nursingdegree.net
Over the past several years, yoga has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the western world among medical professionals and celebrities alike. While many associate yoga with new age mysticism or the latest fad at the gym, yoga is actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 77 benefits of incorporating yoga in to your or your patients fitness program.
Health Benefits Within: From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body.
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Yoga Provides Relief From Back Pain
It is the perfect way to stretch your body and ensure the health of every organ in the body. Frequent yoga provides relief from back pain because it allows you to stretch your back to the fullest. Many experts recommend yoga as the best exercise because it is one of the easiest ways to get relief from chronic back pain.
Increased Happiness Decreased Stress
Your brain releases all kinds of good feelings after a yoga sesh. Scientifically speaking, that means that the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid , dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin go up. This means that you feel more creative and energetic while also feeling less anxiety.
Many believe that there is a huge benefit to doing yoga if you struggle with mental illness. While your happy brain chemicals increase, cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress and fear, and also decreases the size of the brains prefrontal cortex, which deals with discipline and self-control.;
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Treats A Number Of Different Conditions
One of the most significant findings relates to how yoga can slow the onset of Alzheimers disease.
The findings published in the Journal of Alzheimers Research found that yoga as well as meditation could delay the cognitive impairment that is normally the first indicator of the development of Alzheimers.
Effects Of Yoga Practice On Brain Function
Although the majority of studies investigating yogas relationship with the brain have focused on structural brain measures, a handful of studies have compared how brain functioning differs between those with and without yoga experience. Three of these studies were cross-sectional in nature, with two comparing task-related brain activation and the other comparing functional brain connectivity between experienced yoga-practitioners and non-practitioners.
Task-related fMRI findings
represents the brain regions identified across the 3 studies based on the task-related fMRI findings. In addition to investigating differences in GM volume, our own work evaluated how yoga-practitioners and non-practitioners differed in brain function during subcomponents of a Sternberg working memory task. No differences between the groups were identified during the maintenance or retrieval portions of the task, but yoga-practitioners exhibited significantly less brain activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during encoding compared to yoga-naïve controls.
Functional connectivity findings
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The Health Benefits Of Yoga
Yoga is a practice of the mind and body, and it brings about health and happiness benefits through its direct influence on our nervous system.
Central to yoga is bringing awareness to our breath, also known as the ujjayi pranayama, the breath of fire. Deep breathing, like the kind cultivated in yoga, activates the vagus nerve, the large branch of nerves that begins at the top of the spinal cord and stimulates activation in the vocal apparatus, muscles that move the head and eyes, heart, respiration, digestive organs, and gut. Elevated vagal tone is good for a host of bodily functions, like digestion and immune function.
Some forms of slow yoga breathing involve contracting the glottis muscles in the throat, which improves the hearts capacity to efficiently regulate blood pressure, and theres some evidence that practicing yoga can reduce blood pressure.
In a recent study, 29 participants were randomly assigned to a four-month training program of either stretching or yoga respiratory exercises . During that time, the yoga group improved their inspiratory and expiratory pressures, the low/high-frequency ratio of heart rate variability, and heart rate variability itselfall markers of better cardiovascular and respiratory function. Simply stretching didnt have the same effects.
Jaylissa Zheng has created GGSC-tailored yoga videos, free of charge, that combine mindful body movements with science-backed meditations, available at JlissYoga.com.
Improves Flexibility And Balance
Many people add yoga to their fitness routine to improve flexibility and balance.
There is considerable research that backs this benefit, demonstrating that it can optimize performance through the use of specific poses that target flexibility and balance.
A recent study looked at the impact of 10 weeks of yoga on 26 male college athletes. Doing yoga significantly increased several measures of flexibility and balance, compared to the control group .
Another study assigned 66 elderly participants to either practice yoga or calisthenics, a type of body weight exercise.
After one year, total flexibility of the yoga group increased by nearly four times that of the calisthenics group .
A 2013 study also found that practicing yoga could help improve balance and mobility in older adults .
Practicing just 1530 minutes of yoga each day could make a big difference for those looking to enhance performance by increasing flexibility and balance.
Summary: Research shows that practicing yoga can help improve balance and increase flexibility.
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Helps Keep You Drug Free
If your medicine cabinet looks like a pharmacy, maybe its time to try yoga. Studies of people with asthma, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, and obsessive-compulsive disorder have shown that yoga helped them lower their dosage of medications and sometimes get off them entirely. The benefits of taking fewer drugs? Youll spend less money, and youre less likely to suffer side effects and risk dangerous drug interactions.
Yoga Increases Gray Matter Density
Our brains are primarily made up of two types of tissues: white and gray matter. A normal human brain consists of about 60% white matter and 40% gray matter. Both of which play important roles in healthy cognitive functioning, however, each brain tissue type has a different function:
- Gray matter consists of your brain cells or neurons. While its called gray matter, in reality, it is pink in color. Thats because while youre alive, blood continuously flows through it. After you die, it turns gray. Due to its concentration of neurons, gray matter is responsible for many of your brains functions, including learning skills and memory. It is also responsible for the functionality of interpreting your senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Additionally, it affects your muscle control and self-awareness.
- White matter, on the other hand, are the connections that extend from your brain cells. Its job is to connect different sections of your brain, much like how the internet interconnects the world, by allowing areas of your brain to send and receive signals to one another. As such, healthy white matter allows your brain to coordinate your thoughts as well as your movements.
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Quotes On The Benefits Of Yoga
Not convinced on yoga yet? Or perhaps youre trying to convince someone else of how worthwhile an endeavor yoga is? Or, maybe youre just looking for some quotes to post on your mirror as inspiration to practice when youre feeling lazy.
Whatever your reasons, below are some of the best quotes on the benefits of practicing yoga. Write them down or bookmark this page and come back to them whenever you need a shot of motivation!
Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.
Yoga means addition addition of energy, strength, and beauty to body, mind, and soul.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
The Bhagavad Gita;
Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self-control. Energy within and energy without.
The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
B. K. S. Iyengar
Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.
B. K. S. Iyengar;
Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body.
Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable, to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.
The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.
B. K. S. Iyengar;
Less Stress And Anxiety
Between bills, bosses, family, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, people are stressed to the max. As if the feeling of stress isnt bad enough, chronic stress wreaks havoc on health in a number of ways. It can lead to poor digestion, weight fluctuations, weakened immune system, cardiovascular conditions, and much more. One way to naturally beat stress is to exercise. According to researchers, when you perform yoga, feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin are released, putting you in a better mood.
Additionally, yoga helps quiet the mind, gives your body an outlet to release energy blocks that may have you stressing out even more.
To de-stress try the balasana pose, also known as the childs pose. Its hard to hold this pose and feel stress at the same time, the two are almost mutually exclusive.
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Could Reduce Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a persistent problem that affects millions of people and has a range of possible causes, from injuries to arthritis.
There is a growing body of research demonstrating that practicing yoga could help reduce many types of chronic pain.
In one study, 42 individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome either received a wrist splint or did yoga for eight weeks.
At the end of the study, yoga was found to be more effective in reducing pain and improving grip strength than wrist splinting .
Another study in 2005 showed that yoga could help decrease pain and improve physical function in participants with osteoarthritis of the knees .
Although more research is needed, incorporating yoga into your daily routine may be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain.
Summary: Yoga may help reduce chronic pain in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis.
Yoga Helps You Manage Stress
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
Try It:;Corpse Pose ;Lie down with your limbs gently stretched out, away from the body, with your palms facing up. Try to clear your mind while breathing deeply. You can hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.
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Yoga Promotes Self Confidence
What do you have in mind when you think of yoga? Do you want to lose weight? If yes, yoga will help you achieve this goal. So once you begin to lose weight, your self-confidence will improve, and you will feel better. Furthermore, it will also add to your self-confidence. so when you will begin to feel good about yourself through this exercise, you wont have to rely on anyone else. Because everyone needs the confidence to stand out in a large crowd, yoga is the perfect way to achieve this goal. Once you get to become more self-confident, it will have a profound impact on the quality of your life and how you approach different critical situations.;
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