7 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga to Improve Your Well-being
Find a calm, quiet place at your home and dive into the holistic benefits of yoga. Relieve the stress and connect with yourself.
Buddhists told the world about yoga thousands of years ago, but the world discovered yoga only a few decades back. Since then, yoga is popular among all age groups in all corners of the world. All the benefits we will mention in this article are proven by scientific research and studies.
The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuji,” meaning “union.” It implies the union of mind and body. Yoga aims at bringing harmony between mind and body. This synergy is the origin of optimal well-being.
Yoga incorporates mindfulness, breathing techniques, stretches, postures all together to ensure your well-being.
Today, We will unfold some amazing healing power of yoga that helps with physical and mental well-being. You don’t need to be an expert at yoga to enjoy all its benefits.
Mental Well-being and Yoga:
Stress can have adverse effects on the body. Stress and anxiety can show up in different forms, e.g., migraines, insomnia, lack of concentration, absent-mindedness, drug abuse, anxiety disorder, or neck pain.
Yoga helps to cope with all these different forms of mental stress by correcting the hormonal imbalance and releasing the right chemicals in the brain.
1. Stress and anxiety:
In a study published in the international journal of preventive medicine, results showed a significant decrease in anxiety and stress after 12 sessions of “Hatha” yoga practice.1
Certain hormones like cortisol and ACTH are the cause of stress. Yoga produces happiness hormones in the brain: dopamine and serotonin.2
Contrary to popular beliefs, controlled breathing matters more than the poses. Begin by focusing on your breathing technique rather than mastering a specific pose. The Practice of deep belly breathing increases oxygen to the brain and leads to improved mental well-being.
Mindfulness means concentrating on the present and being fully aware of yourself and your surroundings. You may have faced the problem of absent-mindedness when you were not paying attention to the present moment or lacking focus.
Yoga aims to quieten your mind and apply traditional Buddhist meditation techniques to better understand and control yourself. Yoga creates synergy between mind and breath. And thus, it trains you to be aware of the present and appreciate the moment.
Practicing mindfulness in yoga assures mental well-being and increases concentration. This increased concentration will prove itself to be very useful when applied in your daily chores. You may not be able to master it initially, but you will get better with time.
3. Doing Yoga Improves Sleep Quality:
In a survey conducted by CDC 3, 55% of yoga practitioners reported better sleep, and 85% reported reduced stress.
You sleep better when you are relaxed. Practicing yoga regularly can alleviate insomnia, but trying some calming sitting and lying postures right before sleep is even more beneficial. The best yoga styles for pre-sleep are “Nidra’’ yoga and “Hatha” yoga.
Some of the yoga styles you should try before sleep for your well-being are:
• Child pose
• Corpse pose
• Plow pose
• Legs up the wall pose
• Legs on the chair pose
• Lying butterfly pose.
If you are new to yoga and find these poses challenging, then try some supportive props like bolsters, blocks, or even a blanket will work perfectly. You may also have some pillows nearby for extra comfort during poses.
Physical Well-being and Yoga:
Your doctor might have advised you to practice yoga for chronic back pain relief or knee pain, for example, in case of arthritis. You might wonder how yoga can help relieve pain in certain areas of the body. Yoga is effective because of the proportionate amount of motion range and the stretches applied to large muscles and tendons.
Today, medical science has acknowledged the benefits of yoga; and, yoga is accepted worldwide as complementary medicine.
Complementary medicine means non-pharmaceutical, alternative health approaches with similar or better results.
Yoga can help you with weight loss, arthritis, diabetes, heart health, flexibility, strength and, much more.
4.Doing Yoga Reduces Chronic Pain and Knee Arthritis:
Most chronic pain and arthritis come with a certain degree of inflammation. Inflammation aggravates the symptoms. Yoga helps fight inflammation by making a significant reduction in inflammatory markers. 4
Rheumatoid arthritis patients struggle with decreased range of motion, morning stiffness, and swollen, painful joints. Yoga can help with symptoms by applying gentle flexibility movements and gradually combat inflammation.
Arthritis patients should be gentle to their body and not try any strenuous poses. Gentle yoga will be enough for elevated well-being. We advise talking to your doctor first before beginning any yoga regime. Also, look for experienced yoga instructors and beginner classes to avoid putting extra strain on your joints.
5. Doing Yoga Reduces Migraine:
Migraines are not like regular headaches. They feel like throbbing pain on one side of the head and may be followed by an episode of hallucinations. Specific yoga poses that increase the blood flow in the brain assist with migraine and mental well-being.
Some of the Yoga poses you can try to reduce migraine are:
- Child’s pose (Shishuasana)
- Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Savasana)
- Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- Cat stretch (Marjariasana)
- Lotus pose (Padmasana)
6. Doing Yoga Increases Flexibility and Strength:
Our bodies may lose flexibility due to aging. Yoga is an excellent start to regain the lost flexibility. Flexibility may help you with fewer injuries, better posture, improved blood circulation, and reduced joints pain.
No wonder your friends can do long hikes and runs with ease, while they are a nightmare for you. Start doing yoga regularly, and you might leave those pains behind during your next walk!
7. Doing Yoga Improves Heart, Lymphatics and, Circulation:
Yoga kicks your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of the sympathetic system. The sympathetic system gets fired in fight or flight response. Heart rate goes up, and blood pressure shoots.
Increased heart rate is a cause of arrhythmias, and Increased blood pressure can lead to strokes. Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic system, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure. 5 Yoga also increases efficient lymphatic drainage. Impaired lymphatic flow is a significant factor for edema and cancer.
Yoga for Well-being, the Bottom Line:
If you want to bring some healthy change in your life or reduce your depression, it is good to bring yoga into your life.
Yoga is helpful for both physical well-being and mental well-being. Yoga elevates your mood, reduces depression, stress, anxiety and, improves sleep.
Yoga brings physical benefits and is considered a tremendous non-pharmaceutical intervention in contemporary medicine. It increases flexibility, muscle strength and, blood flow circulation.
Yoga strengthens the heart, blood circulation and, lymphatic drainage. Many studies and research prove the beneficial effects of yoga on the mind and body.
Bring harmony in your mind and body and connect yourself with spirituality. All you need is a quiet corner of your home and a yoga mat. Be gentle to yourself. Use folded blankets, props or, blocks if poses are challenging. Focus on your breathing and enjoy your yoga while listening to your favorite music!
2. Vedamurthachar A, Janakiramaiah N, Hegde JM, Shetty TK, Subbakrishna DK, Sureshbabu SV, Gangadhar BN. Antidepressant efficacy and hormonal effects of Sudarshana Kriya Yoga (SKY) in alcohol-dependent individuals. J Affect Disord. 2006 Aug;94(1-3):249-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.04.025. Epub 2006 Jun 5. PMID: 16740317.
4. Bower JE, Greendale G, Crosswell AD, Garet D, Sternlieb B, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Arevalo J, Cole SW. Yoga reduces inflammatory signaling in fatigued breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 May;43:20-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.01.019. Epub 2014 Jan 30. PMID: 24703167; PMCID: PMC4060606.
5. Subramaniam V, Lip GY. Hypertension to heart failure: a pathophysiological spectrum relating blood pressure, drug treatments and, stroke. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2009 Jun;7(6):703-13. doi: 10.1586/erc.09.43. PMID: 19505285.