Yoga is a form of exercise that originated in ancient India and is practised widely across the world today. Yoga not only enhances your physical strength but also contributes largely towards your mental health and spiritual growth.
Looking at the popularity of yoga, Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested at the UN Assembly that yoga be given a special day as it is beneficial for everyone and making it a world event would help in spreading awareness about its benefits. So, on 21st June 2015, World Yoga Day was observed for the first time across the world and has since been celebrated annually.
Yoga not only keeps you fit but also has a lot of long-term benefits when you make it an integral part of your lifestyle. Some benefits of yoga include:
1. Better posture
Yoga helps in keeping the spine erect, enabling you to sit straight and not slouch. It also helps alleviate the stress on your spine, exerted through incorrect posture. Consistent practice of Yoga helps in keeping the spine strong and prevents fatigue.
2. Improved bone health
Many postures in yoga require you to lift your own weight which helps in making the bones stronger and helps ward off osteoporosis.
3. Increased blood flow
The inverted and twisting nature of Yoga poses wring out the venous blood from the internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow. This also boosts the haemoglobin and red blood cells count.
4. Improved heart health
When you practice Yoga regularly, you get your heart into the aerobic range. This not only lowers the risk of heart attack but also relieves depression.
5. Lowered blood pressure
The savasana (corpse pose) helps people with hypertension. This pose is said to be have resulted in great improvement in people with high blood pressure.
6. Improved balance
Yoga involves focusing on holding postures for extended periods of time. This helps in improving your body balance and developing muscle tone.
7. Relaxation and sleeping aid
Yoga can help you relieve the stress of modern life and helps you sleep deeper. Yoga encourages you to relax and slow your breath and to focus on the present. It shifts your focus from sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic nervous system. Restorative asanas and meditation also encourage a turning inward of the senses, which relaxes the nervous system.
8. Improved lung health
Yoga draws attention to your breathing pattern and makes you aware of breathing correctly which filters the air, warms it and humidifies it removing the pollen and the dirt, supplying fresh oxygen into the lungs.
9. Reduced digestive problems
Yoga like any other physical exercise can ease constipation and lower the risk of colon cancer. The movements that Yoga involves, improve the transport of food and remove waste through the bowels. This helps in getting rid of the waste from the system more effectively.
10. Eases your pain
Yoga can ease your pain and help people who suffer from arthritis, back pain and other chronic conditions. When you relieve pain, you’re in a much better mood and are inclined to be more active.