Popularity of yoga grows day by day. Over 200 million people around the world practice it nowadays. It is difficult to count all the benefits, affecting both body and spirit, of regular practice of this Indian method of exercise.
Physical exercise strengthens our form and improves our well-being. However, few activities have such beneficial effects on the whole body as yoga, which not only tones our body but also lowers blood pressure, improves digestion and regulates hormones in women. Exercises also help to reduce stress. And that’s not all.
A few words about yoga
Yoga is a system of exercises that serve to improve the body, spirit, and mind and integrate them. The name comes from the Sanskrit “yuj”, meaning unity, integration. Yoga descended from India, where it began to spread nearly 5000 years ago. It’s worth keeping in mind that yoga has many variations; There are four main streams – hatha yoga (in this case emphasis is on physical exercise), raja yoga (meditation is most important here), jynana-yoga (knowledge, cognition) and karma-yoga (social activities). The most popular is hatha-yoga, which can also be divided into many separate kinds (e.g. ashtanga, vinyasa).
Yoga practice: benefits
The impact of yoga on health, both physical and mental, is confirmed by many studies. Yoga also helps to increase body awareness, which can be of use even when performing such mundane activities as sitting at a desk (without spine loading) or walking in a few inch high heels. There are many more benefits; yoga increases the flexibility of various muscle groups (especially the spine), it also lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and increases lung capacity. In addition to this, it helps to relieve muscle pain and, what is most important for women, it regulates the hormonal system. It also positively affects mental health – it primarily lowers the stress levels and helps to relax. While practicing yoga we can notice that also our self-esteem and sense of inner balance improves.
Yoga is for everybody
This is another advantage of yoga – practically everyone, regardless of age or physical condition, can practice it. Even people with various health problems (as well as women who are pregnant and during their menstruation!) can safely practice yoga. There is one rule – everyone should choose asanas that will be most suitable for them (preferably in consultation with a yoga instructor). It is also difficult to wriggle out of your practice based on the lack of a suitable place to exercise – apart from fitness clubs you can train also in college or at home.
Yoga does not require many accessories, which is an additional plus. A proper mat is essential and most important – it allows us not to slip while doing the more intensive exercises. Ideally, it is made from eco-friendly materials such as rubber – they are not only biodegradable but also completely safe for your health (free of chemicals that can be found in traditional PVC mats). A personal mat is also a necessity when attending classes at a fitness club or in college – it is not only more comfortable, but also more hygienic.
In conclusion – everyone will find something for themselves in yoga, especially if they want a healthy body and cares for their own well-being. It is worth remembering that the impact of yoga on our health and our lives can be enormous and that practicing yoga is not expensive and does not require any special skills.