Dec, 2020 - By Aditi Rathi
Yoga, the addition of strength, beauty, and energy to the mind, soul, and body has gained recognition across the globe. Yoga is more beneficial than we might think and therefore, understanding its true essence and importance has become a necessity in our daily lives. But first, let us understand the actual meaning of yoga.
The word ‘yoga’, according to the Sanskrit sutra ‘yog chitta vritti nirodha’, means stilling the mind to attain tranquility and move forward on the path of self-realization. In simpler words, yoga directs us towards positivity. The divine magic of yoga not only helps in physical wellness but it penetrates through the layers of our being and heals our mind as well as the soul.
Among the endless benefits of yoga, here are 40 of them to understand what wonders yoga could bring in our lives.
Regular routine of yoga helps in releasing muscle stiffness and makes the body flexible, supple, and light. It combines as well as increases a range of motion, which helps in stretching our muscles. Yoga is no less than exercising in gymnasiums, as athletic varieties of yoga such as power yoga make our body sweat and help in reducing excess body weight.
Yoga helps us in making our body strong and even teaches us to lift our own body and not depend on external weights to gain strength. In simpler words, yoga sculpts our body and certain yoga postures can help us achieve the goals of increasing endurance and achieving the desired body mass, similar to weightlifting. It even brings greater balance to our bodies.
Yoga does not require any equipment or a particular location. Dedication, passion, and some space enough for us to stretch are only needed to practice yoga on a daily basis.
Yoga asanas can stretch our bodies in every way possible. Some postures stop the blood from reaching a particular part of the body and when one comes to rest after an asana, fresh blood flourishes that part and cells resulting in improved blood circulation.
Our body usually goes through several issues such as neck pain, body pain, backache, a hunched back, etc. due to our routine of sitting, working, standing, or just walking daily and not paying attention to our body posture or exercising. Along with strengthening our body, yoga also helps in correcting our posture and reducing such problems that might become a serious issue while growing older.
In our daily busy life, we often find it difficult to relax our minds and calm ourselves. Hectic work schedules, personal pressures, and our over-packed lives usually result in anxiety. Pranayama, yogic breathing, and several other breathing exercises are most recommended for dealing with these problems.
Yoga increases lung capacity and therefore, prevents the risk of pulmonary diseases. In addition, the consistent practice of yoga also helps in healing people suffering from pulmonary disorders.
Breathe, our life force, is generally taken for granted and do not receive the importance it actually deserves, which results in shallow and rapid breathing, and short exhalations. Yoga majorly focuses on our breathing not only through the breathing exercises but regulating our exhaling and inhaling while practicing any asana.
Depression can be termed as the most common issue in the world since more than 264 million people in the world are depressed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While in most of the countries it is difficult for society to understand depression, this issue is not given much attention which leads to the risk of life for the sufferers. Yoga is highly recommended to those suffering from depression and anxiety, as its breathing exercises and several asanas help in soothing our senses and calming our minds. It fills our body with positive thoughts and relaxes our mind. Some recommended asanas include Ujjai Pranayam, Nadi Shodhan Kriya, Kapalbharti, Anulom Vilom, Uttanasana, Balasana, Paschimottanasana, and several others.
A sound sleep is one of the major requirements for our mind and body, which goes through a hectic schedule daily. Today, disturbed sleep, sleep deprivation, and insomnia have become common problems that a majority of people face leading to a higher risk of diseases such as kidney problems, heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Some asanas such as Viprit Karni, Supta Baddha Konasana, Balasana, and Uttanasana along with a breathing technique known as Brahmari can help in improving our sleep quality.
Yoga works as a recovery activity for runners since they usually deal with physical problems such as Achilles tendinitis, runners’ knee, cramps, hamstring issues, and muscle stiffness. Some stretching asanas help in relieving soreness, strengthening muscles, healing, and preventing stiffness that eventually help them to run better.
This is a saying that holds true since yoga helps in getting rid of anxiety, dullness, and lethargy. It calms our minds, motivates us in our life, and spreads positivity. In this hectic world, probably that is something we all need.
While using mobile phones and computers constantly, especially in a bad posture, it leads to excessive strain in the back and neck that eventually results in cervical spondylitis that worsens with age. Daily practice of simple yoga asanas can help in treating such problems and relieving the stress from our neck.
Yoga is usually misconceptualised as being slow and boring. Instead, yoga can be as intense as we want it to be, it can be a cardio workout or help in toning our body. It can even help in losing weight in a short span of time.
Yoga is for everyone. From 8 to infinity, all age groups can perform yoga. Studies have shown that regular yoga can increase an individual’s life span up to 15%. All we need to do is alter our routine as we grow older (but younger in our hearts).
Yoga is one of the most powerful and successful paths leading to overall wellness. Apart from physical and psychological wellness, it also promotes intellectual and spiritual wellbeing, which is extremely hard to find in our hectic schedules.
There is no better internal body cleanser than yoga. It cleanses our digestive system, eliminates toxins, helps in massaging our intestines, and eliminates lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and lymphatic acid. It is a complete body detox, which we all need. Some yogic kriyas for this detox include Laghoo Shankprakshalan, Nauli, Agnisaar, and Vaman.
What else do we need to fight this COVID-19 pandemic, other than a strong immune system? Regular practice of yoga helps in strengthening our immune system with asanas, bandhas, pranayama, and kriyas.
Yoga asanas and pranayama helps in improving our overall nervous system, which in turn improves our psychological and physiological wellbeing. With an improved nervous system, we become less prone to the risk of several diseases, which help in reduced intake of medicines. Now that we are taking fewer medicines, we are also saving a lot of costs.
Along with improving our mental health, yoga also improves our cognitive functioning and keeps eye-related problems away from us by making them cleaner, brighter, stronger, and improving one’s memory as well as focus. A yogic meditation technique known as Trataka helps in improving our cognitive functioning and also deals with mild depression, insomnia, and emotional complexes. With a healthy eye functioning, our mind functions better, which in turn calms our entire system.
Yoga is a way of leading a healthy, long, and improved life. It is not just a form of exercise but its adoption leads to holistic wellness for ourselves. It is a life therapy, which we all need in the present time, especially to deal with this global COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from an improved immune system, we also need to calm ourselves for staying at home longer than usual. Even though the world has started working again, we are still advised to stay at home as much as possible.
Yoga helps us by teaching discipline, patience, and making us believe in ourselves. All we need is a small space in our home or garden or even terrace, where we can stretch ourselves and let go of all the toxins harming our mind, soul, and body. We are just a yoga session away from self-realization. The realization of our wellness, health, and the need to improve our lives.