Why Yoga Is Good for Your Body and Brain, According to Science


Health benefits of yoga

Health benefits of yoga are countless. Yoga is an exercise-based form of therapy for the body and mind and, through its direct influence on our nervous system, brings benefits for health and happiness. The U.S. military, the National Institutes of Health, and other large organizations are listening to and incorporating scientific validation of yoga’s value in health care. Numerous studies show yoga’s benefits in arthritis, osteopenia, balance issues, oncology, women’s health, chronic pain, and other specialties.

Health benefits of yoga

The focus of yoga is the awareness building in our breath, also known as “Ujjayi Pranayama”, the breath of fire. Deep breathing, as cultivated in yoga, activates the Vagus nerve, the large nerve branch that starts at the top of the spinal cord and stimulates activation in the vocal apparatus, muscles that move the head and eyes, heart, breathing, digestion, organs, and intestines. The increased vagal tone is good for a variety of body functions such as digestion and immune function.

Some forms of slow yoga breathing contract the glottic muscles in the throat, improving the heart’s ability to regulate blood pressure efficiently, and there is evidence that yoga can lower blood pressure.

In a recent study, 29 participants were randomly assigned to a four-month workout program, either stretching or yoga breathing exercises (ujjayi breathing). During this time, the yoga group improved their inspiratory and expiratory pressures, the low/high-frequency ratio of heart rate variability, and the heart rate variability itself – all markers of better cardiovascular function and respiratory. Just stretching didn’t have the same effects.

In another recent study by a team at UC San Diego, 38 people who participated in a three-month yoga retreat showed decreased inflammatory processes, and immune response linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, and to autoimmune diseases.

Considering these variations in the circulatory and brain systems, it makes sense that yoga is good for our health. Regular practice can help loosen up the muscles and connective tissues around the joints, which in turn can reduce aches and pains. In current clinical research, 75 patients that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis were randomly allocated to an eight-week yoga class or waitlist. Rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition that involves tender and swollen joints, is estimated to affect 54 million Americans each year and cost the health care system $ 19 billion. Patients who practiced yoga saw significant improvements in their experiences of physical pain, general health, vitality, and mental health, and these pain reductions lasted for nine months after the study ended.

According to other studies, practicing yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression – perhaps better than traditional medications if you exercise daily for more than a month. Yoga has also been found to be an effective way of helping people overcome their addictions. In light of these findings, it is not surprising that regular yoga practitioners say they are happier than other people.

Major health benefits of yoga are listed below:

1. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility.

Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up the muscles, and holding positions can build strength.

2. Yoga helps relieve back pain.

Yoga is just as good as basic stretching to relieve pain and improve mobility in people with low back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as the first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.

3. Yoga can ease the symptoms of arthritis.

Mild yoga has been shown to alleviate the discomfort of tender, swollen joints in people with arthritis, according to a review of 11 recent studies by Johns Hopkins.

4. Yoga benefits heart health.

Regular yoga practice can reduce stress and inflammation levels throughout the body, which promotes heart health. Several factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and being overweight, can also be combated with yoga.

5. Yoga relaxes and helps you sleep better.

Research shows that a regular yoga routine before bed can help you form the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

6. Yoga can mean more energy and a good mood.

You may feel an increase in mental and physical energy, an increase in alertness and enthusiasm, and a decrease in negative feelings after starting yoga.

7. Yoga helps to cope with stress.

According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows yoga supports stress management, mental health, alertness, healthy eating, weight loss, and quality sleep.

  1. Yoga connects you with a supportive community.

Attending yoga classes can relieve loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during individual sessions, loneliness is reduced as you are recognized as unique individuals, listened to, and participating in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.

  1. Yoga promotes better self-care.

Improvement for your whole body

Studying the health benefits of yoga scientists perform different researches and clinical trials.

New research shows that yoga directly affects our nervous system, making us happier and healthier.

When I was 18, in my first year of college, I took a yoga class on the basketball court in the school gym. At that time, about 40 years ago, yoga had a mystical, partly cult connotation. While a handful of disciples waited on mats, a white-robed teacher who looked like Jesus arrived. After playing a song on a wooden flute and reading a few haiku poems, he led the class through a series of yoga poses. Yoga, which is just beginning to develop in the West, turned out to be a balm for my anxious inclinations.

Health benefits of yoga in the western world.

Yoga is one of our oldest practices that leads to happiness and joy. Archaeologists have found figurines in India dating back 5,000 years and representing what appear to be people in yoga poses. It is more certain that yoga appeared about 2500 years ago in the Indus-Sarasvati civilization of northern India as part of Hinduism.

Many in the West know a vein of yoga practice: asanas, a Sanskrit that translates to “postures”. The complete tradition is much broader and encompasses pranayama (conscious breathing), meditations, chanting, sutras (philosophy of yoga by sage Patanjali), kriya (internal cleansing movements), and ethical principles related to kindness. , altruism, non-materialism, and non-violence. During its history, yoga has evolved into many forms, from Tai Chi and Qi Gong to hot yoga and basic power yoga.

Today in the United States, over 36 million people practice yoga regularly. They are most likely practicing one of several types of yoga that stem from Vedic yoga and include 12 basic postures with names such as plow, fish, cobra, locust, and bow. In addition to these metaphorical descriptions that emphasize body movements, this type of yoga also includes training in deep breathing patterns and an emphasis on presence and attention.

Does this practice work? Indeed, in the last decade, the developing science of this ancient art of health and self-control has discovered significant health benefits of yoga practice. And this suggests that we should all think about hitting the rug more often.

How yoga makes us happy

How does yoga make us happier? These health benefits of yoga exercises are possibly related to their effects on cardiac rate inconsistency and the Vagus nerve, based on a review of 59 clinical trials with a total of approximately 2,400 contestants. People with greater heart rate variability and Vagus nerve activity tend to be kinder and more compassionate, qualities that make life happier.

Yoga also changes the chemistry of our brains. In one study, Chantal Villemure and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health used MRI to examine the gray matter in the brain, which naturally decreases with age. They found that yoga practitioners had less gray matter decline in the regions of the cortex involved in experiencing positive states like joy and happiness.

Conclusion on health benefits of yoga

In conclusion, yoga has been proved to the intensification of the activity of the frontal cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex, regions of the brain related to compassion, gratitude, and gentleness. In other words, performing yoga exercises can help us to experience additional positive feelings and be more focused on others, both of which can establish long-lasting joy over time.

Thirty-two years ago, I immigrated from the former Soviet Union. It was a change that left me anguished from many of the problems that are widespread today: anxiety, insomnia, emotional eating, and a feeling of misery. Medication did little, if anything, for my suffering. So, I changed my lifestyle and activities to yoga; I became a yoga teacher. And in performing and teaching this ancient happiness practice, I have found an embodied source of ever-richer resilience. Perhaps you, too, can find new meaning in one of the human race’s oldest happiness practices.

At the Philadelphia Holistic Clinic, we established yoga classes where you can improve your physical and emotional health and get closer to the perfectionism of the Universe and divine.

Our yoga instructor Yelena Galanter has 20 years of experience in teaching yoga.

Contact our clinic (267) 284-3085 to find out about classes and group availability. At the clinic, we have different approaches to natural treatment residing under one roof. You can choose between acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, reiki, clinical hypnosis, psychoanalysis, essential oils treatment, and more. All treatments at the clinic performed by licensed practitioners under the supervision of the medical doctor Victor Tsan.

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