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Benefits

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. 
Hence 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:
Anxiety Asthma Stress
Heart Disease Insomnia Back Pain
Arthritis Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Depression
Menopausal Symptoms Headaches - including Migraines Fibromyalgia
Blood Pressure Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Addictions
Diabetes Multiple Sclerosis Epilepsy

In addition to these specific conditions, Yoga also:

  •     improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
  •     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:

  1. As a physical practice, Yoga aligns the body and increases flexibility
  2. 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
  3. As an emotional journey, Yoga teaches how to more fully express emotions; to let go and not suppress or bottle up what we feel
  4. 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. 

 

"The only real control I have is the choice of my own thoughts, my own words and my own actions"
Judith Lasater, Writer

 


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Copyright 2004 From Nana With Love
Last modified: 04/12/2018