Yoga is a low-impact way to exercise the mind and body, with the goal to achieve harmony with the self. Yoga has been practiced in the United States for about 100 years and in its originating country for several thousand years. Benefits of yoga has limitless accounts.
A newer version of yoga, Pilates, has similar methods and poses. The benefits of yoga and Pilates are similar to each other. Yoga is also a lifestyle choice of millions of Americans who come from different religious demographics.
Yoga is not specific to religion; in fact the point of yoga is to meditate and flex the body at the same time, rather than to subscribe to any specific religion. Both yoga and Pilates are neutral ways to maintain a healthy and harmonious lifestyle. There are many benefits of yoga and Pilates, especially in relationship to stress and flexibility. Pilates and yoga benefits the mind, body, and spirit by increasing blood flow and oxygen, as well as using motion to massage internal body components. From better sleep and menopause relief to relief for back pain and more, find out all the health benefits yoga can bring.
Joints and Tendons
The different positions in yoga benefit the joints of the body that are rarely exercised in everyday life. This increases flexibility through specific stances and positions combined with breathing exercises. Yoga increases lubrication within the joints and tendons by helping the body flex these areas and increase blood flow to rarely used joints and tendons within the body. This can drastically improve the flexibility of the body. Similarly, Pilates uses poises to train joints to move in smooth and continuous motions, which improves the blood flow to these joints and thus increases lubrication for better joint, ligament and tendon movement.
Yoga has also been hailed as being effective in providing natural arthritis pain relief. Arthritic exercises are not new, they have been prescribed by doctors to increase blood flow, maintain joint lubrication and prevent dystrophy.
Yoga uses slow movement and pressure in a gentle manner to massage the joints and stretch the tendons. This is used with breathing to relieve joint and tendon tension.
Yoga uses a whole-body approach that stimulates the internal organs of the body. This is rare in cardio and body building exercises, because many organs of the body are not stimulated through basic exercising. Yoga uses movements that specifically target internal organs, such as the lungs, pancreas and stomach, to increase blood flow and oxygen. These are the main components used for cellular regeneration and growth. The benefits of yoga also include detoxification of the internal organs through increasing blood and oxygen to these areas. By holding a specific organ-related position during a yoga exercise, one can help regenerate and stimulate internal organs.
Yoga and Pilates both allow for deep breathing and succinct movements that cause a meditative state. This is not a shamanistic meditation, but a way to have inner quiet and peace. Yoga utilizes both breathing and motion to induce inner awareness on a psychological level. Furthermore, yoga benefits with increased oxygen and blood flow help develop brain functions, and thus increase mental awareness.
Yoga reduces tension and allows for a person to have time with their thoughts. As a low impact exercise, yoga helps free the mind from nervousness and confusion. It induces a quiet, meditative state that relieves the internal pressures that are felt when there is too much commotion and not enough inner silence.
Yoga focuses on the whole of the person, including stimulating glands. This includes the glands that control brain functions, weight and reproduction. This is because yoga impacts the pituitary gland, thyroid, and adrenal glands. The benefits of yoga are that it stimulates the often unreachable areas of the body, such as these glands, and helps them to release the important hormones that foster a general sense of health and well being.
The inverted positions of yoga are the main stimulators of the glands. This is because it allows, in combination with breathing exercises, for the body’s circulatory system to bring more nourishment to the glands and thus improve their functional ability within the body.
Yoga benefits through a focus on movement, which stimulates the body’s ability to burn calories and create muscle. Yoga also stimulates the thyroid gland hormonal secretions which helps increase the body’s metabolism. Yoga’s deep breathing circulates more oxygen through the body, which stimulates the body cells to refresh, renew and regenerate. This includes turning fat cells into energy through oxidation, which essentially burns off the fat cells of the body. Yoga also reduces the potential for emotional eating, one of the larger reasons for weight gain in women today. This is especially true when one uses yoga as a replacement for emotional eating, instead of reaching for a candy bar, one can reach for a yoga video.Overall, yoga increases the glandular functions, which in turn increases fat metabolism. Continuous deep breathing used in yoga also stimulates fat metabolism because it requires more use of calories than normal breathing.
Both yoga and Pilates will improve sleep. This is because both impact the body’s central nervous system with increased oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Yoga also helps remove toxins because of the organ stimulation, which can cause late night indigestion. The focus of yoga is finding a meditative state with the physical motion, and thus yoga relieves internal pressures that cause insomnia. The manner in which yoga and Pilates help one sleep better is more related to the idea that the body and mind will be freed from severe stress, and there will be less worry during the late nights. Yoga and Pilates help the body fall asleep faster as one learns greater control over breathing and motion to find a center of relaxation and internal rest.
Spine-health.com is a Health on the Net Foundation accredited website for spinal professionals. They contend that the healing benefits of yoga are seen especially in reducing back pain. This makes sense as many doctors and chiropractors will recommend back stretching exercises for back pain. According to Spine-health, yoga helps because it heals the injured back muscles, increases level of activity, and prevents disability. This is because yoga stretches and strengthens the back muscles and increases blood circulation to the spine, much in the same way yoga increases joint lubrication.
More blood flow, oxygen and water carried in the blood increases the ability of the spine to heal and prevent further injury through increased lubrication.
There are many physical and psychological benefits that stem from the use of yoga and Pilates. Increased circulation and motions that stimulate the portions of the body such as the joints and glands, which are rarely stimulated, can greatly improve overall health. Probably the most interesting of the benefits of yoga is the ability to use motion and deep breathing to stimulate the internal organs, which can improve digestion and general health. The highest value of yoga benefits is likely found in the inverted positions which increase blood flow through the circulatory system and to the brain. This, when combined with deep breathing, can be a great way to lessen anxiety and develop stronger mental capabilities. Lastly, please remember that this article does not substitute for medical advice and that one should consult a physician before starting a new exercise program, especially if there are prior medical conditions.