Derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, yoga means union of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Though many think of yoga only as a physical exercise where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways, these are actually only the most superficial aspects of this profound science; unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul. I’m not saying that yoga will be the ultimate solution to all the worldly troubles, but with this amazing tool by their side, people will have the courage to face any challenge and deal with it with a calm and composed mind.
It originated in India thousands of years ago and gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core.
Regular practice of yoga, and the healing that comes with it, can bring about a healthy, happier living with reduced anxiety, increased tolerance and mindfulness.
The benefits of yoga are many. I’ve listed a few below so you can understand just some of the was yoga healing has an effect on you and your body.
yoga builds muscle, strength and increases flexibility
Strong muscles do more than look good. They protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. Working your muscles can also slow the muscle loss that comes with age, increase bone density, and cut your risk of injury. And building muscle by doing yoga is preventative for (bone-thinning) osteoporosis and other problems.
helps boost immunity and lymphatic drainage2>
Active contraction and relaxation of the major muscles in our body during various postures in yoga results in significant drainage of the lymphatic system. This is essential for maintaining the body’s immunity as lymph is nothing but a fluid abundant in immune cells. These immune cells helps fight infections, destroys cells with an oncogenic potential and eliminates the toxic end products of cellular metabolism.
drops the blood pressure
A particular asana worth mentioning here is the Shavasana (Corpse Pose) where studies have shown a significant drop in both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure after continued practice.
lowers blood sugar
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Lowering the blood glucose levels reduces the risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
prevents IBS and other digestive problems
Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of these can be exacerbated by stress. So if you stress less, you’ll suffer less. Yoga can ease constipation—and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer.
eases up your system
Yoga helps you to loosen up the stiffness of the muscles-increasing flexibility and releasing strain, it slows the respiration and helps one to concentrate the attention in the present moment, making and individual more mindful and aware. This results in an overall shift of balance from the more active sympathetic nervous system which prepares one to deal with stress, to the parasympathetic nervous system, more adept at calming down the stress.Yoga helps release L-Carnitine which in turn provides the body with its benefits.
yoga healing tips for yoga beginners
1. Relax. It’s okay if you can’t touch your toes or stretch like a gymnast. Yoga isn’t a tough limb twisting process. You’ll get there.
2. Dress comfortably. Or in the hot room, come prepared to sweat
3. Be regular in your practice.
4. Do the sessions in an empty or near empty stomach.
5. Do only as much as you can in a day. Don’t overstretch. One step at a time.