Could Promote Sleep Quality
Poor sleep quality has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and depression, among other disorders .
Studies show that incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep.
In a 2005 study, 69 elderly patients were assigned to either practice yoga, take an herbal preparation or be part of the control group.
The yoga group fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning than the other groups .
Another study looked at the effects of yoga on sleep in patients with lymphoma. They found that it decreased sleep disturbances, improved sleep quality and duration and reduced the need for sleep medications .
Though the way it works is not clear, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness .
Yoga also has a significant effect on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and stress all common contributors to sleep problems.
Summary: Yoga may help enhance sleep quality because of its effects on melatonin and its impact on several common contributors to sleep problems.
Maintaining A Regular Yoga Practice Can Provide Physical And Mental Health Benefits
Learn about the different types of yoga and how it can be used as a tool to help you stay healthy.
Like yoga, the osteopathic approach to wellness focuses on your bodys natural tendency toward health and self-healing.
The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body, explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.
While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
As an osteopathic physician, I focus a lot of my efforts on preventive medicine and practices, and in the bodys ability to heal itself, says Dr. Nevins. Yoga is a great tool for staying healthy because its based on similar principles.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, focus on prevention by examining how your lifestyle and environment impact your health, rather than just treating your symptoms.
Can Christians Do Yoga
Some Catholics are also teaching yoga as a Christian practice. He insists that yoga has always brought him closer to Christ. Christian yoga is not just an American thing. Indian Catholic priest Joseph Pereira has written about Christian yoga and teaches yoga for the practice of Christian meditation to Indian audiences.
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What Is Hatha Yoga And What Are The Different Styles Of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga refers to a set of physical exercises , and sequences of asana, designed to align body, breath and mind. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance by developing strength and flexibility. These physical practices of asana bring attention to the breath, which helps to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.
Different styles of Hatha yoga include Vinyasa style, Iyengar style, Ashtanga style, Power, Yin or Restorative style, Kundalini style etc. These various styles focus on various aspects of the physical practice of Hatha yoga. Most of the modern “styles” of Hatha Yoga did not exist a few decades ago, while Yoga in its entirety as spiritual practice is thousands of years old.
Hatha yoga is meant to be a powerful tool for self-transformation.
The word Hatha comes from a scripture named Hatha Yoga Pradpik. It was composed by a sage named Svtmrma in the 15th century CE and explains the preparatory stage for physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation or Yoga.
The popular meaning of Hatha involves a metaphysical explanation of uniting the sun and moon . However, the literal Sanskrit meaning of the word Haha is force or absolute or inevitable necessity.
Uses The Placebo Effect To Affect Change
Just believing you will get better can make you better. Unfortunately, many conventional scientists believe that if something works by eliciting the placebo effect, it doesnt count. But most patients just want to get better, so if chanting a mantralike you might do at the beginning or end of yoga class or throughout a meditation or in the course of your dayfacilitates healing, even if its just a placebo effect, why not do it?
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Gives You Inner Strength
Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for heat, is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts.
Keeps Allergies And Viruses At Bay
Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga. They include everything from rapid breathing exercises to elaborate internal cleansing of the intestines. Jala neti, which entails a gentle lavage of the nasal passages with salt water, removes pollen and viruses from the nose, keeps mucus from building up, and helps drains the sinuses.
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What Are The Specific Health Conditions Improved By Yoga
Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.3 million Americans — most of them are women. Yoga may help people with arthritis deal with pain and stiffness, improve their range of motion, and increase strength for daily activities.
Multiple sclerosis: Certain forms of yoga may help reduce fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis , according to researchers at Oregon Health and Science University who adapted the Iyengar form of yoga for people with MS.
Individuals who are inactive or elderly: If you are inactive, yoga may be the ideal exercise for both mind and body to begin your activity life. Yoga also provides stress reduction in addition to strengthening the bones and muscles and improving posture as well as overall health and vitality. Because you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to practice yoga, it is the right activity for sedentary people and for seniors who might not otherwise exercise. Instructors can help modify yoga poses. You don’t have to get down on the floor or a mat to practice yoga. It can be started while you simply sit in a chair.
Ongoing research: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health is evaluating yoga as a treatment for chronic low back pain, insomnia, and other conditions.
The History Of Yoga And The Origin Of Yoga: How The Practice Has Evolved Into What We Practice Today
We go to yoga for a variety of reasons, including the physical benefits like strengthening our body or to sweat in a heated room. But, most of us know very well that our yoga practice offers benefits that reach far deeper than just the physical.
This is because the very root of all the yogic practices is to reach only one goal: enlightenment. So, the practice of yoga highly emphasizes a focus on the breath and the inner workings of the mind.
Visit any yoga studio around the world, and you will likely find a teacher that references a quiet mind or cultivates a meditation practice in the beginning or end of class. Its hard to separate yoga from its roots. And, honestly, why would we want to?;
The very root of all the yogic practices is to reach only one goal: enlightenment.
;Yoga offers us countless benefits because it is so rooted in its history. By taking the time to draw our awareness inside during our yoga practice, we counter the stresses of our everyday lives.
We may even find small glimpses of ultimate enlightenment. And, of course, this would make the yogis that came before us extremely proud.;
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Helps You Serve Others
Karma yoga is integral to yogic philosophy. And while you may not be inclined to serve others, your health might improve if you do. A study at the University of Michigan found that older people who volunteered a little less than an hour per week were three times as likely to be alive seven years later. Serving others can give meaning to your life, and your problems may not seem so daunting when you see what other people are dealing with.
Could Help Improve Breathing
Pranayama, or yogic breathing, is a practice in yoga that focuses on controlling the breath through breathing exercises and techniques.
Most types of yoga incorporate these breathing exercises, and several studies have found that practicing yoga could help improve breathing.
In one study, 287 college students took a 15-week class where they were taught various yoga poses and breathing exercises. At the end of the study, they had a significant increase in vital capacity .
Vital capacity is a measure of the maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs. It is especially important for those with lung disease, heart problems and asthma.
Another study in 2009 found that practicing yogic breathing improved symptoms and lung function in patients with mild-to-moderate asthma (
Traditionally, migraines are treated with medications to relieve and manage symptoms.
However, increasing evidence shows that yoga could be a useful adjunct therapy to help reduce migraine frequency.
A 2007 study divided 72 patients with migraines into either a yoga therapy or self-care group for three months. Practicing yoga led to reductions in headache intensity, frequency and pain compared to the self-care group .
Another study treated 60 patients with migraines using conventional care with or without yoga. Doing yoga resulted in a greater decrease in headache frequency and intensity than conventional care alone .
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Enhancement Of Social Health
Social Health involves the ability to be happy with oneself and make others happy, as well. It also consists of nurturing relationships with other people by keeping genuine contact and communication with them. On a larger scale, it is the ability to assume responsibility and work for the community.
Yoga will help improve your social health by enhancing your relationships with other people, and not just within the ambit of the self. There is so much more beyond the self that also needs nurturing. This includes the environment and the welfare of all humankind.
Face Yoga is designed to strengthen and contour the underlying 57 muscles of your face neck and enhance the health and vitality of your skin. Exercising your facial muscles stimulates the face muscles and is probably one of the best natural facelifts that you can have.
It is a safe, effective method that offers a natural way to deal with sagging muscles. No surgery! No drugs! No needles!
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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Increases Your Blood Flow
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Adho Mukha Vrksasana , and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.
True Yoga: Beyond The Body
For many practitioners, the discipline of yoga centers only on Hatha, or physical asana postures. The practice begins with contorting or controlling the body, and is focused on the feelings, or sense-driven phenomena the nervous system produces as a result. When done regularly, the physical practice of yoga can help reduce stress and boost concentration, overall health, and a sense of wellbeing. Although balanced health and wellbeing are an important step towards enlightenment, it is important not to confuse this with the ultimate purpose of yoga: preparing the body for meditation. Once the restlessness of the body has been calmed through an asana practice, the consciousness can now be directed inward to the soul, which lies beyond the senses and material awareness. Absent this next step of practice, the experience of yoga can be limited to the realm of bodily sensations, like sex, drugs, alcohol, or chocolate.
Unaccompanied by higher levels of union through meditation and control of the body-bound senses, the practice of physical yoga is like taking 90 minutes to prepare a delicious, nourishing, three-course mealthen throwing it in the trash without tasting it.
The next time you complete your yoga asana practice, sit still. Meditate. Turn inward, and allow yourself a moment to taste the spiritual bliss youve worked so hard to cultivate.
This is the true purpose of yoga.
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Releases Tension In Your Limbs
Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.
Helps You Sleep Deeper
Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra , Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleepwhich means youll be less tired and stressed and less likely to have accidents. Sleep is one of the key benefits of yoga that nearly every practitioner can experience no matter what their skill level.
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Founds A Healthy Lifestyle
Move more, eat lessthats the adage of many a dieter. Yoga can help on both fronts. A regular practice gets you moving and burns calories and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater. One of the benefits of yoga is how the practices resonate through other areas of your life.
Improvement Of Physical Health
Yoga is a great way to enhance strength and flexibility. Some are for relaxation, which also contributes to the improvement of ones physical health. When asked, what is the purpose of yoga? I am pretty sure relaxation immediately comes to mind. Enumerated below are some of the physical benefits that the practice of yoga offers.
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Uses Sounds To Soothe Your Sinuses
The basics of yogaasana, pranayama, and meditationall work to improve your health, but theres more in the yoga toolbox. Consider chanting. It tends to prolong exhalation, which shifts the balance toward the parasympathetic nervous system. When done in a group, chanting can be a particularly powerful physical and emotional experience. A recent study from Swedens Karolinska Institute suggests that humming soundslike those made while chanting Omopen the sinuses and facilitate drainage.
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Lets Break Down What Yoga Is
Yoga. We all know this term so well. It is so common in our vernacular that this Sanskrit word has been incorporated into English dictionaries.
The word yoga itself comes from the root yuj, which means to yoke. Now this is no longer a word that is commonplace in the English language, so you might not catch its meaning at first glance.
Yoking was a practice used to connect and harness two animals. They would be yoked together to then be able to perform tasks . So, essentially, to yoke is to create a union, and this is typically how we hear yoga defined today.;;
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