Workout trends come and go however virtually no other exercise programme is as enduring as Yoga is – this ancient exercise form has been around for over 5 000 years. Yoga is responsible for more than burning calories and toning muscles. Yoga is a total mind-body workout which combines strengthening and stretching poses together with deep breath (which is called Ujjayi breath), meditation or relaxation.
Practising Yoga on a daily basis is good for your health. This is because it has many benefits for your body which means that it is important to sacrifice a few minutes every day to include it. Yoga has the power to transform your body. If you practise it consistently you will improve your quality of life and overall health. Yoga is a practice that provides support, stillness, happiness, encouragement, bliss, insight and assists with destroying stored emotions.
The relaxation techniques incorporated into Yoga
These techniques can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also assist with lowering blood pressure and reducing insomnia.
Several studies have shown that Yoga may help to alleviate stress and anxiety. It can also assist with enhancing your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Assist With Reducing Inflammation
As well as bettering your mental health, some research suggests that practising Yoga may also reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a typical immune response however chronic inflammation can promote the advancement of pro-inflammatory diseases, such as:
- Heart disease,
- Diabetes, and
A study which was conducted in 2015 study split 218 participants into two groups:
- Those who practised Yoga on a regular basis, and
- Those who did not.
Both groups then did moderate as well as strenuous exercises in order to induce stress.
When the study was concluded, the individuals who practised yoga had lower levels of inflammatory markers as opposed to those who didn’t.
Likewise, a small study in 2014 showed that 12 weeks of yoga decreased inflammatory markers in breast cancer survivors who suffered from persistent fatigue.
Help with reducing chronic pain
Chronic pain is a never-ending problem that affects millions of people. This type of pain has a range of possible causes, such as injuries and arthritis.
There is an increasing body of studies which demonstrate that practising yoga could help reduce many kinds of chronic pain:
- In one piece of research, 42 people with carpal tunnel syndrome received either a wrist splint or performed yoga for eight weeks.
- When the study concluded yoga was found to be more effective in easing pain as well as improving grip strength when compared to wrist splinting.
Another 2005 study showed that yoga may help to reduce pain as well as improve physical function in participants with osteoarthritis in the knees.
Assist with migraines
Usually, migraines are treated by using medications to alleviate and control symptoms. However, there is increasing evidence which shows that yoga may be a helpful additional therapy to assist with reducing the frequency of migraines. Researchers have made the suggestion that practising yoga may assist with stimulating the vagus nerve, which has been seen to be effective in relieving migraines.
A study in 2007 split 72 patients with migraines into a yoga therapy or self-care group. The study lasted three months. Practising yoga resulted in reductions in the intensity of headaches, frequency and pain compared with the self-care group.
Another study gave 60 patients with migraines conventional care with or without yoga. Doing yoga caused a greater decrease in the frequency and intensity of headaches as opposed to conventional care alone.
Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.
Increased muscle strength and tone
It is possible to increase muscle tone and definition — and even muscle size — with Yoga. But because you’re limited to “lifting” your body weight, strengthening and toning may take a lot more skill, time, and determination as opposed to lifting weights.
Using Yoga to build a stronger, more impressive physique can be just as effective as using weights. However, experts agree that whether Yoga can be your sole form of strength training depends on your goals.
Improved respiration, energy and vitality
Some Yoga traditions, which involved breathing exercises, are responsible for generating calmness. These breathing exercises, which are called pranayama are performed by breathing in and out only through the nose. Breathing through the nose is more beneficial than breathing in through the mouth.
Some Pranayama exercises are:
- Nadi Sodhana or, alternatively, the Alternate Nostril Breathing,
- Sama Vrtti which is translated into English as Same or Equal Length Breathing, and
- Ujjayi (Victorious Breath).
Some effective Pranayama are:
- Uddiyana Bhanda that gives youthfulness to the whole body;
- Kapalabhati that stimulates every tissue of the body; and the
- Peacock posture which relieves indigestion and constipation in addition to maintaining a balanced metabolism
Protection from injury
To remain healthy, active and involved during the practice of sports, runners, as well as other endurance athletes, require corrective modalities to change muscular imbalances. In addition, these corrective modalities limit overuse injuries and assure longevity.
Yoga awards one of the most effective returns on investment for athletes. This is because it increases strength, flexibility, agility, balance and mental acuity, and can assist with recovery from high-intensity training.
Want to become a Yoga Instructor?
If you answered ‘yes!’ then check out Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Yoga Certification Course. We cover all the essential elements of Yoga and, with our 200-hour accreditation, no other Yoga course can beat us! For more information about this as well as our other online fitness courses, please visit our website.