HOW THE ULTIMATE MIND-BODY CONNECTION HEALS
The word “yoga” means “to unite” or “to join.” The practice of yoga leads to the unity of individual consciousness with universal consciousness creating a harmony between the mind, body and nature. Yoga was created thousands of years ago, long before any religious belief systems were born. It is practiced today by millions all over the world due to its benefits for both the spiritual mind and the physical body. The goal of yoga is to attain self-realization through specific yogic techniques and practices as well as physical movements and postures. A yoga practice consists of physical movement of the body (asana), breath work (pranayama) and meditation. When practiced together regularly, this trifecta promotes optimal health in the body and mind. While there are countless reasons to practice yoga, below are ten of the most beneficial:
BENEFITS OF DEVELOPING A YOGA PRACTICE
1. Yoga improves flexibility. Flexibility is an essential component of physical health. Studies show that it is not only beneficial for adults over the age of 65 to slow down loss of flexibility, but to improve general flexibility as well.
2. Practicing yoga improves mental health and aids in stress relief. This is one of the most commonly cited reasons that yoga is beneficial. Studies show that currently 84% of our population feels the impact of prolonged stress. Yoga supports the release of that stress from the mind and body.
3. Yoga reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a precursor to serious illness. In addition, studies show that conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis can be greatly reduced with daily yoga practice.
4. A regular yoga practice improves cardiovascular function. Yogic breathing, one of the most important facets of yoga, has an influence on the brain’s cardiorespiratory center and is known to improve its functioning. A study conducted in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that favorable changes in heart rate, stroke capacity and arterial pressure were among the benefits of yogic breathing.
5. Performing yoga postures increases physical strength. The physical postures (asana) of yoga can be used to build muscular strength and endurance.This has been found to be effective for many different groups whose conditions benefit from strength gains.
6. Yoga practice boosts immunity. Chronic stress leads to lowered immune function which leaves individuals more susceptible to illness. Yoga promotes the body’s ability to prevent or fight inflammation and enhances cell-mediated immunity.
7. Yoga improves balance. Studies show that yoga can improve balance in the body, thus reducing the risk of serious falls. Improving balance with yoga can also benefit individuals who have suffered from brain injuries and are in need of rehabilitation to walk, stand or move.
8. Practicing yoga improves sleep quality. The after-effects of physical practice and the mental calming that yoga cultivates improve both how quickly individuals fall asleep and how deeply they sleep through the night. Yoga Nidra is an especially helpful tool used to improve the quality of sleep.
9. Yoga is beneficial for bone health. Isometric exercises have been found to increase bone density. A study published by PubMed Central showed that you should practice yoga postures for 12 minutes each day can lead to a reversal of bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
10. Yoga promotes better posture and body awareness. Yoga improves brain functioning in the centers responsible for establishing posture and recognizing sensations in the body. The release of commonly tight muscles in the body improves the mobility of the spine.
PHYSICAL PRACTICE IS ONLY ONE ASPECT OF YOGA
There are many types of practices that fall under the category of yoga; some do not require any physical movements at all. It is important to remember that the asana, or physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Meditation, breath work and auditory rituals, like sound baths or chanting are proven to significantly reduce tension and relieve stress. With significant versatility and varied types of practice, yoga is an activity that anyone can benefit from performing daily.
THE EXTRAORDINARY HEALING POWERS OF YOGA
If you are ready to explore the extraordinary healing powers of yoga and make the best investment that you can give to yourself and the world around you, Renaissance Health Centre is here to help. We are proud to house our very own yoga studio just steps away from the main office. Please call 702-258-7860, or visit ipureyoga.com to book your first class with Alexandra Ojeda today!
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