Yoga is known as a “miracle” to help prolong the beauty of youth and longevity. So how does Yoga directly impact human health?
Yoga originated in India and is now popular all over the world. In Western countries, they soon studied the impact and benefits of yoga on the human body. Once you understand them, you will be even more motivated to pursue this method of training your mind and body.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an age-old practice that originated in India about 5,000 years ago. People often think that practicing yoga is practicing strange bending movements and postures. But actually, yoga includes exercises that help improve the practitioner’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This is an interesting option for beginners as well as those who exercise regularly.
The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach”. This discipline is built on the idea that the mind and body are one. When practicing, you need to combine breathing techniques, yoga poses (also known as asanas), and sitting meditation. To do this, you need to have discipline and practice to unify body, mind, and soul.
Many people believe that this practice can change the worldview, help calm and reduce stress, so yoga will help improve your health.
Why should practice Yoga?
Yoga is a discipline suitable for all ages, genders, physical conditions, health conditions, meeting most of the basic needs of bodybuilding as well as health for practitioners.
Let’s see the benefits of Yoga for the body that you may not know.
Whether you’ve only been practicing yoga for a few days, months, or years, you’ll still get practical benefits for your health. The longer you practice yoga, the healthier you will feel.
Here are the benefits of yoga over the time you practice:
After a few sessions
- Improve brain function: Just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga a day can improve cognitive function, enhance concentration and memory to work and study. In a University of Illinois study (USA), study participants who did 20 minutes of yoga performed better on tests related to brain function than those who did aerobic exercise for 20 minutes.
- Reduce stress: Practicing yoga can reduce the activity of inflammatory proteins in the body, thereby helping you stay healthy and better manage your mood. This result was published by researchers from the University of California (USA) last year.
- Alter gene expression: A Norwegian study suggested that yoga may have the ability to alter gene expression in immune cells.
- Increase flexibility: A recent Colorado State University (USA) study found that practicing Bikram yoga (a form of yoga with a series of poses performed for 90 minutes in a hot room) will help flexibility of shoulders, lower back, and hamstrings, and reduce body fat…
After a few months
- Stabilize blood pressure: Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) found that people who practice yoga will have a more stable blood pressure than people who participate in other physical activities such as walking, lifting weights …
- Improve lung: A study by Ball State University (India) found that practicing Hatha yoga for 15 weeks can significantly increase lung function.
- Yoga improves sexual function: A 2009 Harvard University study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that practicing yoga can increase arousal, libido, orgasm, and sexual performance. sexual gratification for women in general. Yoga can also improve women’s sex lives by helping them become familiar with their organs.
- Yoga helps relieve chronic neck pain: A German study published in the journal Pain found that practicing Iyengar yoga (a type of Hatha yoga that incorporates props) for 4 weeks is effective in reducing the intensity of chronic neck pain in adults.
- Yoga helps reduce anxiety: A 2010 Boston University study found that doing yoga for 12 weeks can help reduce anxiety because it increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain (low levels of GABA in the brain) associated with depressive and anxiety disorders).
- Practicing yoga helps relieve chronic back pain: Researchers at West Virginia University (USA) found that practicing Iyengar Yoga is effective in reducing pain and improving mood for people with back problems, for example, chronic pain.
- Yoga helps stabilize blood sugar levels with diabetes: People with diabetes who practice yoga long-term can help stabilize blood sugar levels, according to a 2011 Diabetes Care study published on Reuters.
- Practicing yoga improves a sense of balance: Practicing an Iyengar yoga program may help improve balance and help prevent falls in women over 65, according to a Temple University study (USA) in 2008.
- Yoga practice helps to lose weight: 30 minutes of Yoga burns 400kl of Calories and Yoga exercises are equivalent to the strictest diet. Yoga for weight loss but combined with muscle gain and body adjustment is extremely effective. Don’t be surprised why with just 1,2 weeks of training, you can clearly feel the change in your body!
After a few years
- Strong bones: A 2009 study conducted by Dr. Loren Fishman, published in the Huffington Post, showed that yoga practice can improve bone density in older adults.
- Stay at a healthy weight: Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (USA) found an association between regular yoga practice and the ability to lose weight – or at least maintain a healthy weight.
- Lowers your risk of heart disease: As part of a healthy lifestyle, practicing yoga can reduce cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, according to a study published in the journal of the Harvard Medical School.
What preparation is needed to start practicing yoga?
Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and is a form of exercise that you can practice from childhood to adulthood. Most yogis said they wanted to start practicing earlier.
To practice, you first need to find a yoga studio near your home and prepare some equipment to practice. Here is a summary of the most basic things you need to practice yoga:
- Gym: You should find a yoga center in the area near your home that offers many different yoga classes. This will give you more options and you can also change classes to find out what works best for you. You should choose places with yoga instructors and gyms that must have basic props such as straps and cushion blocks to use to help you focus on practicing correct postures;
- Comfortable, breathable clothing: Remember, there’s a lot of stretching when doing yoga. So you’ll want to wear comfortable, breathable clothing. When doing some exercises that require precise postures, like Iyengar, you must wear visible clothing (such as leggings or tight jumpsuits like ballet dancers) so, the trainer can easily adjust your posture. You should choose clothes that fit your body because you certainly don’t want to be distracted when exercising just because your sleeves or waist are too tight;
- A bottle of water: This is one of the most important things to carry when participating in any exercise and yoga is no exception. Dehydration from sweating can make your head spin. You will even feel dizzy while balancing on one leg and controlling your breath at the same time. Staying hydrated helps you stay focused, no matter what type of yoga you practice;
- Private practice mat: This is up to the individual as many yoga studios provide mats for their students. But owning a separate carpet is also very convenient in terms of hygiene. It will be very uncomfortable when you have to lie on the carpet that has been used dozens of times. In addition, if you want to practice some movements at home, you should have your own yoga mat;
- Face Towel: A towel will be essential if you practice more complex yoga or hot yoga. You need to wipe off the sweat to avoid the sweat that makes the exercise mat slippery and dangerous. Plus you won’t need to worry about sweat getting into your eyes when you’re trying to focus and balance.
How to stay safe while practicing yoga?
Experts say yoga is quite safe. Injuries are rare with yoga, but like any other practice, accidents can happen. Some yoga injuries are caused by overstretching or falling due to slips. Gentle stretching and preparing your equipment carefully before practicing yoga will help you prevent injury.
Yoga is completely safe if you are properly taught by a trained yoga instructor. You will ensure your own safety when you choose the right coach and choose the right class for your condition.