The Benefits of Yoga
- Simply put, Yoga works. It makes you feel better. The term 'Yoga'
means "union" in Sanskrit which is the classical language of India.
Yoga provides a mind - body - spiritual connection. The actual physiological,
medical, emotional and spiritual benefits are in fact so comprehensive, that any
attempt to represent an all-inclusive list here would be a serious injustice.
What can be said is that Yoga is the ultimate in self-improvement systems. It is
a way of living and experiencing life, not just a technique or daily exercise routine. Yoga
makes us healthier in body, mind and in spirit.
- A common misperception is that Yoga is a religion. Yoga is not a
religion but a science dating back 6000 years. Today's scientific and medical
research is focused on Yoga's ability to help prevent, heal or alleviate
specific medical conditions. There is an abundance of
- research that shows
Yoga helps manage or control:
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Headaches - including
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In addition to these specific conditions, Yoga also:
- improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and
- reduces tension
- boosts self esteem
- improves concentration and creativity
- lowers fat
- improves circulation
- stimulates the immune system
- creates a sense of calmness and well-being
Yoga tones, strengthens and stretches all of the major muscle groups in the
body especially those contributing to good spinal health. Through Yoga we
can develop an awareness of muscle tension and learn techniques to release that tension.
Over time, with Yoga, muscle tone and flexibility improve. These
changes in the physical body usually result in an
increase in energy, they improve overall general health and lead the way towards
reconnecting with the 'self'.
Various Yoga asanas (postures) have a direct effect on the health of specific
internal organs. Stretching and bending the body in certain directions
applies pressure to particular internal organs which in turn increases
circulation to that area. Furthermore, this increases the delivery of
oxygen and nutrients through the blood while removing more toxins and
impurities. For example, some forward bending postures stimulate and
massage the colon thereby improving bowel functions resulting in improved
gastro-intestinal health. This improved circulation also raises our level of
concentration and awareness overall.
Over the years many different styles of Yoga have emerged, However, the
common threads amongst all variations incorporate 4 distinct components:
- As a physical practice, Yoga aligns the body and increases flexibility
- As a mental discipline, sitting still and meditating teaches the ability
to focus. This ability to focus is necessary while practicing the asanas (postures)
since they require attention to
detail and breathing patterns
- As an emotional journey, Yoga teaches how to more fully express
emotions; to let go and not suppress or bottle up what we feel
- As a spiritual path, Yoga helps us explore who we are, expands our
awareness of the world around us, provides a connection between ourselves
and the Lord our God and teaches us to appreciate ourselves for
who we are -
with a body, mind and soul connection
Yoga helps us become the best we can be. We can learn to more deeply experience our day-to-day opportunities, to live life more fully
and to appreciate
beauty inside and out. Yoga helps us be at peace with our selves by
finding happiness with what we have in the present rather than looking ahead to
what we need to be happy in the future. Whether one pursues Yoga as a physical discipline to
a healthier lifestyle or as a spiritual path to personal growth, self-improvement
and a more intense relationship with the Lord, Yoga is a
process through which we can learn to accept who we are, just as we are.