By Dt. G L Moondra, Yoga & Naturopathy
Yoga may be a form of exercise gaining popularity today but it originated over 5000 years ago. Yoga addresses not only the physical well-being of a person but also their mental and emotional health. Yoga is often misunderstood as merely a collection of asanas but when done properly, yoga can harmonise the body and mind. Here are some of the benefits of practising yoga:
- It aids in weight management - Whether you’re looking for a way to lose weight or manage a healthy BMI, yoga is the ideal route to follow. However, do not expect immediate results. Yoga helps tone the muscles of the body and burn fat cells. It also makes you more sensitive to the type and amount of food your body needs. Kapal Bhati pranayama and surya namaskar are ideal yoga exercises for weight loss.
- It provides stress relief - Stress can cause a number of health issues and hence fighting stress is essential. Meditation and pranayama exercises, when combined with yoga asanas, can be very beneficial in eradicating stress. Yoga also helps detoxify and calm the mind in stressful situations.
- It boosts immunity - Each yoga asana addresses a specific set of muscles and organs. This combined with breathing exercises and meditation helps relieve stress and increases immunity. Thus yoga helps reduce the risk of catching infections and diseases.
- It increases energy levels - The effects of practising yoga at the start of your day can be felt even at the end of the day in the form of higher energy levels. This is because yoga helps increase blood flow and enhances circulation.
- It improves flexibility and better posture - Yoga asanas can be crudely described as stretching various muscles in different ways. In doing this, yoga makes the body more flexible and tones the muscles. By increasing muscle strength and making the body more flexible, it also helps improve posture while standing as well as sitting.
- It improves memory - By fighting stress and reducing anxiety and tension, yoga makes the mind calmer and gives it the ability to function more efficiently. Thus a person who practises yoga can organise his or her thoughts better and experiences improved cognitive functioning.
- It can help treat infertility - Lowered stress levels can also help boost fertility rates in both men and women. Yoga also improves blood circulation of the reproductive organs and regulates the production of hormones thereby increasing the chances of conceiving a child.
These asanas and Prnayams work but without proper eating habits and supplementary treatment it does not become whole. The Yoga also talks about Yama and Niyam. These are related to personal and social health. And therefore it is necessary to find a happy mix of the two.