But if each stretch is synchronized with the breath and awareness, your practice will become a yogic practice. But we need to eat and maintain a healthy diet.
Did you know that your next day starts from your dinner? What you eat, what time you eat and how much you eat affects your sleep, the morning and your entire day. Needless to say, ahaar food makes a profound impact on your body and mind. Imbalance of vata, pitta and kapha three prime energies in the body lead to most health-related issues.
Vihaar Daily Routine plays a tremendous role in measuring how healthy an individual is. There is a tendency in our body towards health. At one level, our body intelligence signals that what we are doing is not alright, but we all have our excuses because we are following our mind and emotion. That intelligence fails when you become a slave to your mind and creates problems on a physical level. And soon, it becomes a pattern. A headache is not a disease, but a signal for something bigger, and when we suppress that sign with painkillers, the real cause soon surfaces on a much bigger scale.
Yoga Yoga for Health and Wellness. It is a dynamic expression of life — in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar One who is stable and established in the self is healthy.
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Choose a healthier life. Most Popular Yoga All. Give your skin a breather with these 12 must-do yoga asanas. Yoga to cure migraine and headache.
Treating Thyroid with Yoga poses. Yoga Mudra at your fingertips! Know more about postures of yoga for weight loss. Yoga in fact means union of individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness. It involves eight rungs or limbs of yoga, which include yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.
Maintaining a regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefits
Intense practice of these leads to self-realization, which is the primary goal of yoga. An analytical look at the rungs and the goal of yoga shows that it is a holistic way of life leading to a state of complete physical, social, mental, and spiritual well-being and harmony with nature. This is in contrast to purely economic and material developmental goal of modern civilization, which has brought social unrest and ecological devastation. Mental stress, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are fast growing epidemics consequent to changing lifestyles accompanying globalization and modernization.
Although yoga originated in India thousands of years ago, it was introduced to western world in 19 th century. In the past few decades, it has been the subject of research as a therapeutic measure in mental stress, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Yoga is effective in prevention as well as management of stress and stress-induced disorders. A systematic review based on eight studies observed that though they reported positive results but due to methodological inadequacies it is not possible to say that yoga is effective in treating anxiety or anxiety disorders in general.
The Benefits of Yoga
However, there are encouraging results, particularly with obsessive compulsive disorder. The study supports the potential of yoga as a complementary treatment of depression. It has been shown that yoga decreases anxiety, stress, and levels of salivary cortisol 4 , 5 as well as plasma rennin levels, and h urine norepinephrine and epinephrine levels.
In , researchers at the University of Utah showed that among control subjects and yoga practitioners, by functional magnetic resonance imagings MRIs , that yoga practitioner had the higher pain tolerance and lower pain-related brain activity during the MRI. The study shows the importance of yoga in regulating pain responses and associated stress. Overweight and obesity are strong risk factors for diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease. Yoga has been found to be helpful in the management of obesity. Training of yoga asnas and pranayama for three continuous months, 1 h every day in the morning by a yoga expert resulted in decrease in body weight, body mass index BMI , and waist hip ratio.
India is referred to as diabetic capital of the world as it has the largest number of cases of diabetes. The practice of yoga asanas and pranayama helps in control of type II diabetes mellitus and can serve as an adjunct to medical therapy. Training of yoga asanas and pranayama for three continuous months, 1 h every day in the morning by a yoga expert resulted in decrease in fasting as well as postprandial blood glucose levels and acetylated hemoglobin.
In another study from India, yoga asanas and pranayama after 40 days of practice brought down fasting as well as postprandial blood glucose levels and acetylated hemoglobin in patients of non — insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. They developed a sense of well-being within 10 days and there was a lowering of anti-diabetic drugs.
Yoga also has a beneficial effect on cognitive brain functions and thus can be incorporated along with the conventional medical therapy for improving cognitive brain functions in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Elevated serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein LDL , very low-density lipoprotein VLDL , and triglycerides are risk factors for ischemic heart disease, whereas high-density lipoprotein HDL has a protective role. Studies on type II diabetes mellitus patients have shown beneficial effects of yoga asanas and pranayama on serum lipid levels. A study from Delhi reported significant lowering of total serum cholesterol following 40 days of practice of yoga asanas and pranayama.
Another study from Bangalore reported a significant decrease in serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL levels. However, there was no significant change in HDL levels. The differences in results of these studies are probably due to small sample size, varying duration of intervention, and differences in diets of patients. In a randomized controlled study, patients with angiographically proven coronary artery disease who practiced yoga exercise for a period of 1 year showed a decrease in the number of anginal episodes per week, improved exercise capacity, and decrease in body weight.
Revascularization procedures were required less frequently in the yoga group. Follow-up angiography at 1 year showed that significantly more lesions regressed in the yoga group compared with the control group. Thus, yoga exercise increases regression and retards progression of atherosclerosis in patients with severe coronary artery disease. Another prospective, controlled, open trial including angiographically proved coronary artery disease patients showed yoga-based lifestyle modifications helped in regression of coronary lesions and in improving myocardial perfusion, which was translated into clinical benefits and symptomatic improvement.
Yoga training significantly improves lung functions and strength of inspiratory and expiratory muscles.
In a randomized controlled trial by All India Institutes of Medical Sciences AIIMS , Delhi, it was reported that yoga postures, pranayama, and meditation improved several measures of pulmonary function in subjects having mild to moderate bronchial asthma and a decrease in exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Yoga improved the quality of life QOL , reduced rescue medication use in bronchial asthma, and achieved the reduction of medicines earlier than conventional treatment alone.
Findings of several studies showing beneficial effects of meditation in reduction of mental stress and anxiety, improvement in pulmonary functions among patients of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and improved exercise tolerance among patients of coronary heart disease have been questioned on the grounds that there was often selection of favorably predisposed subjects.
Other weaknesses that have been have been pointed out are use of multiple co-interventions, high attrition, and inadequate statistical analysis. It indicates that observed favorable effects of yoga on stress, anxiety, asthma, and coronary heart disease need to be substantiated by more rigorous scientific studies.
21 Health Benefits of Yoga
However, so far what we have discussed about yoga is not yoga in its true sense. Archaeological evidence and other texts suggest that the methods described in the yoga sutras were being practiced as early as before common era BCE. Oral tradition states that the date may be even earlier. Yoga sutras were historically passed on orally by learned teachers to their pupils. Scholars estimate that Patanjali, who lived sometime between BCE and anno domini AD , systematized and compiled these sutras.
According to Patanjali, yoga consists of eight steps or limbs, which are all equally important and are related as parts of a whole. The purpose of these eight limbs is discriminative enlightenment or self realization. The eight steps or limbs of yoga are as follows: 24 , Samadhi: Deep absorption, meditation in its higher state, the state of perfected concentration.
The five yamas are considered codes of restraint, abstentions, self-regulations, and involve our relationship with the external world and other people. These apply equally to thought, word, and action. The five yamas are as follows:. Asteya: Nonstealing, to the extent that one should not even desire something that is not his own. It also means that we should consider that whatever resources are available to us are borrowed from the nature.
Using them or acquiring them more than minimum required for living amounts to stealing as these are then not available to others. Brahmacharya: Walking in awareness of the highest reality, remembering the divine, practicing the presence of God. As an effect it leads to celibacy or what one generally means by brahmacharya. Aparigraha: Nonpossessiveness, nonholding through senses, nongreed, nongrasping, nonindulgence, nonacquisitiveness. The five niyamas are the observances or practices of self-training and deal with our personal inner world. These are a means for self-training in relation to body, senses, and mind.
The five niyamas are as follows:. Shaucha: Cleanliness and purity of body and mind. It results in purification of the subtle mental essence, brings pleasantness, mastery over the senses, and capability for self-realization. Santosha: Contentment or comfortable acceptance of what one currently has. It brings joy and happiness from within.
Tapah: Through ascesis or training of the senses, there comes a destruction of mental impurities and an ensuing mastery over the body and the mental organs of senses and actions. Svadhyaya: Self-study, reflection on sacred words, and study of the scriptures.