Benefits of Yoga on Physical and Mental Health

Most likely, you have already done yoga unknowingly. Even as early in your life as a kindergarten or school kid. Did you know that for example, headstand and handstand are yoga poses? It is one of the schools of Hinduism. The oldest document describing it is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  It is much more than just mere exercises full of awkward poses; also the union of mind, spirit, and body. It comes from the Hindu philosophy to attain spiritual and physical harmony.

This ancient discipline has become popular in the twentieth century among athletes. Depending on the individual that practices it, yoga can be merely a physical exercise or a way of life.

Yoga is a lifestyle

Practitioners of yoga called yogis, use discipline to reach a high level of consciousness and mental freedom.

Physical control is also essential in yoga. Yogis train themselves to control their breaths. They consider breathing a life force, counting a lifespan, not in years but the number of breaths taken.

Unlike exercises that build strength and endurance, yoga also helps the body become flexible. As a result, yoga exercises (called asanas) used in all sports for stretching muscles and joints.

In yoga, you use the gravitation to do stretches, never forcing yourself. The saying no pain no gain does not apply. You do only the best you can at the moment, and at some time later, with more experience; you will do more.

All yoga poses call for balance. And you can’t balance if you’re thinking about something else. Doing asanas also demands concentration. Learn to concentrate on your stance or movement, and you will be better able to focus on other things in life as well.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga teachers knew the human body well and how it works.  Also, how to influence the body by postures (asanas), and how asanas are acting on specific organs or certain nerve centers. All yoga exercises promote strength, flexibility, and calmness. Each move’s effects on a muscle, a joint a gland or a nerve center are carefully thought out.

You can use specific exercises to rid yourself of particular pains, such as abdominal pain or a headache. Yoga can help condition you for sport or help you control feelings of depression or anxiety.

What is the difference between simple yoga and the not so common type? The former is practiced on a broader scale than the other. It is up to each and their preferences to what form of exercise they choose to practice. Some people practice yoga for health reasons.

If starting to practice yoga for the first time, then be sure to find out what style is best suited to your health condition and your physical and spiritual requirements. Some of the essential factors that have to be addressed before beginning with any exercise such are your fitness level and the location of yoga schools in your area.

Yoga has many types, styles, schools, and branches that it’s so confusing.


The most known yoga types:

Hatha

In the Western world, yoga is synonymous with Hatha. It is an umbrella term for all styles. It’s mainly known for the static stances (asana) and breathing techniques. Concentration is crucial while exercising to achieve full control over your body. Hatha is a favorite physical exercise throughout the world. Since it’s not as strenuous as some other styles such as Ashtanga, it is the perfect choice for beginners. It also emphasizes moderate food consumption.

Iyengar

This is a version of Hatha paying close attention to proper alignment and accurate movements. Iyengar practitioners use props such as straps, pillows, and blocks for beginners who are not as flexible as advanced students. By utilizing these props, it helps the beginner to relax and give comfort, therefore, encouraging beneficial results. It is the perfect choice for people with medical problems, for children or for starting yoga in advanced age.

Ashtanga

It’s a branch of physical yoga. A modernized version of the traditional Indian practice. Sometimes confused with power yoga. The reason for this confusion is the dynamic movements that are involved in both. In Ashtanga, there is a set of fast-paced series of asanas always in the same order. Practitioners go through six times in the series. It’s like doing the super circuit in the gym.
The movements include push-ups and lunges. It helps to build strength and stamina. People practicing Ashtanga are looking for challenging exercises.
You will find athletes, and many from the fitness world have turned to this type of exercise to enhance their strength, balance, and coordination of movement.

Power

It has its origin in the USA in the early 90s. This style is an altered Ashtanga by two of its students. It differs from Astanga in the form of the freedom given to the instructor to teach as they want.

Bikram

The exercises are carried out in a heated room. That is an excellent way for increasing flexibility; heat can stretch body tissue.
Some health matters like cardiovascular disease make this type of basic yoga off-limits for some individuals. The reason is that of the vigorous exercises are practiced in heat, thus causing strain on the body.

Raja

Raja is the king of all yogas controlling the body and mind. It converts mental and physical energies into spiritual energies. It implements spiritual liberation through meditation. Hatha is the way to prepare the body, so in Raja, the mind becomes in the state of pure consciousness.

Bhakti

Bhakti is the yoga of love. It’s not physical but spiritual and commonly acknowledged as devotional, where participants focus on self-surrender.

Exercising yoga every day is improving health, well-being, mental functions, and the overall quality of life. Modern yoga includes traditional elements from Hinduism, such as ethical principles. Nowadays, more and more people choose this fantastic ancient way to heal the body, strengthen the soul, and soothe the mind. Why don’t you?
Related: Ayurveda

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