When you hear the words “poetry of the body” or “physical art”, you may be surprised to know that these words refer to the practice of yoga. Contrary to what some believe, yoga is more than just a lot of strange poses used to increase flexibility. The benefits of yoga are physical as well as psychological and emotional.
As a person fits a regular yoga routine into their schedule, physical changes begin to occur inside and out. Through a series of poses done regularly, the muscles become strengthened and toned. From the strengthening comes improved balance and posture. The stretching that results from these poses relaxes the muscles, relieves tension, and adds increased flexibility. In addition to releasing molecule-damaging free radicals from the lungs, the deep breathing techniques used in yoga increase the burning of fat cells (oxidation) due to increased oxygen intake. Circulation is improved through out the body and blood alkalinity levels, which are harmful if too high, even out. Clearly yoga does the body good.
In addition, yoga does your emotional state good. Stress is a major contributing factor to problems such as impaired immune system disorders, cancer, herpes, chronic headaches, joint pain and insomnia, to name a few. It is a proven fact that regular exercise can greatly reduce stress levels, and yoga can help. Following a daily yoga routine can also lessen anxiety and depression, which usually go hand in hand with stress. An immediate boost in morale can be gained due to a sense of well-being as a result of doing something good for yourself. Utilizing the relaxation techniques found in yoga can help you sleep better during the night, allowing you to wake up feeling rested and in a generally better state of mind. The benefits to ones mentality are evident.
Psychological benefits are also to be gained by practicing yoga. Through meditation poses you tap into your subconscious mind and spiritual energies. Meditation quiets the mind and eliminates repeated negative messages by focusing the mind on positive thoughts and images. As you concentrate on total awareness of energy and how it flows through the body, you become aware of how body and mind work together. As you make slow deliberate movements and hold poses, you gain a heightened sense of self-control and self-confidence. The result is being able to meet pessimistic thoughts with a positive outlook, which can undoubtedly be beneficial to anyone.
The physical, emotional and psychological benefits of yoga are unmistakable. Although the practice of yoga dates back hundreds of years, only recently have the many uses in connection with modern day maladies been researched. It is anyone’s guess what the future may hold as far as linking yoga with improved overall health.