Health Benefits Of Yoga To Attain A Balanced Life

By Ishana Deb, Contributing Writer
February 25, 2017
Benefits of Yoga

The health benefits of Yoga remain the same whether you practice Yoga in your apartment in Mumbai, or in an Ashram in Rishikesh. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has now been recognized internationally as having several benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

The United Nations has declared June 21st of every year as the International Yoga Day. Yoga may be a 5,000-year-old practice, but it is more important today than ever in the past, because people want an escape from their busy and stressful lives. In this article, we discuss the many health benefits of Yoga and tell you why it is so important.

There are several different types of Yoga. Hatha Yoga is very popular in the West as it is a combination of several different styles. It is a very physical form of Yoga, and yet retains the meditative aspects of the practice.

A typical session of Hatha Yoga begins with breath-control exercises such as pranayama. Then you will be put through a series of asanas or Yoga poses. After about 30 to 45 minutes of intense practice, during which you will sweat profusely and burn hundreds of calories, the session ends with savasana (a resting posture).

Your main goal during the Yoga session should be to challenge yourself physically, without getting too overwhelmed by the practice. The practice of Yoga should be done a convivial, encouraging and stress-free environment, where you don’t feel under any sort of pressure.

Following infographic states the main health benefits of joining a yoga class

Infographic - Benefits of Yoga

Importance of yoga in details

  1. Boosts immunity – According to researchers in Norway, the practice of Yoga does wonders for your immunity by boosting it at the cellular level. The researchers involved two groups in their study. They made one group perform Yoga and had the other go on a nature hike while listening to music. It was found that the group of participants that practiced Yoga experienced a higher boost in immunity than the other group that went hiking. When you practice Yoga, you will breathe better, so your blood circulates more effectively and your organs stay healthy for much longer.

  2. Improves sexual life – There are several studies that indicate that regular practice of Yoga can improve sexual performance for both men and women. The practice of this ancient discipline increases the blood flow into the pelvic region for men, which boosts sexual desire and ensures strong, harder and lasting erections. Researchers say that women can feel a vast improvement in their sexual desire, confidence and arousal after 12 weeks of regular practice at a Yoga class. There are several asanas that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improve breathing, stamina and mind control, which can improve sexual performance.

  3. Helps in weight loss – There have been many studies on the importance of Yoga for weight loss. According to researchers from the University of Washington, the regular practice of Yoga helped the participants in a study to exercise control over their constant cravings for food. They no longer resorted to binge eating or emotional eating. The breathing asanas such as Pranayama are particularly effective for weight loss and burn copious amounts of calories. In fact, the renowned Yoga teacher, Swami Ramdev, is a big advocate of Pranayama for weight loss. The asanas that require a lot of stretching and balancing, such as Surya Namaskar and Chaturanga Dandasana, strengthen the core and give it a real workout, helping you shed fat around the midriff region.

  4. Improves concentration level – If you have a wandering mind or suffer from a lack of concentration or focus, regular practice of this ancient Indian practice helps you bring your mind back on track just when you think you are losing focus. Doing your asanas regularly not only gives you the laser sharp concentration you need to be more productive at work, it also improves your memory and ensures that you don’t get mentally exhausted after a few hours at the workplace or in college.

  5. Heals migraines and asthma – One of the biggest benefits of Yoga is that it helps you get rid of your migraines. According to a recent research, a group of participants that suffered from severe migraines, were put through a regime of Yoga. This had a miraculous effect on their condition and healed their migraines completely after just three months of practice, something that could not be achieved even with modern medicine. There are several reasons for this. Migraines are caused because of incorrect posture, such as bending over a laptop or hunching over a smartphone or tablet. Practice of Yoga corrects the posture. It also helps generate neurons in the brain. This can have the effect of curing migraines or headaches.

  6. Helps to sleep better- According to a study by researchers from Harvard daily practice of Yoga for just 8 weeks had the effect of curing insomnia in a group of participants. Indeed, regular practice of the various asanas helps you get 7 to 8 hours of well-rested, blissful sleep, without any tossing or turning at night. Another study found that cancer patients who had trouble getting proper sleep at night were able to sleep better and feel less exhausted after regular Yoga practice. Yoga helps you relax. It gets rid of the stress and the anxiety that have been troubling your mind and preventing you from getting good sleep at night.

  7. Lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure and keeps diabetes in control – Yoga has powerful effects on the overall health of your body. It lowers your high blood pressure and reduces the risk of suffering from hypertension. It lowers cholesterol levels in the body and improves your lipid profile by a considerable extent.

    It also reduces your blood sugar levels, which is why type 2 diabetes patients are asked to attend a Yoga class by their doctors. Most importantly, doing your Yogic asanas regularly lowers the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The practice of this great Indian discipline improves your cardiovascular system in a significant manner.

For the want of space, we have listed only some of the many health benefits of Yoga. But there are many more benefits.

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