Yoga needs no introduction in India. We have heard many experts talk at length about its virtues and benefits. If you were to ask anyone about the potential benefits of practicing Yoga regularly, the responses are understandably about fitness and health. But the same can be said about any form of regular physical activity really. So, how is Yoga any different?
There is no denying that Yoga is good for you. But it is also important to know what its real benefits are so you don’t fall for tall claims. Yoga will not miraculously cure diabetes, migraine, or a host of other diseases or conditions that may require regular medication. However, it will help you control the symptoms and lead a much healthier life.
Listed here are several health benefits of Yoga, all of which have been scientifically studied and documented around the world. We are going past the most obvious fitness benefits since they are true of most forms of exercise and into more specific benefits of Yoga. Let’s look at why “Yoga for healthy life” has become a catchphrase around the world.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Multiple studies have shown that regularly practicing Yoga resulted in a marked reduction in hormones linked to stress and anxiety (Cortisol and ACTH). These hormones are produced by our bodies as a natural response to biological and physiological stress. Perhaps more importantly, high levels of these hormones are also linked to depression. This means that Yoga is excellent for the modern hectic lifestyle of urban Indians. From work and family to managing financial and societal responsibilities, Yoga can help you tackle life’s everyday challenges with ease.
- Controls Blood Pressure: High BP is the new constant truth in our lives, and people seem to be getting affected at an earlier age. Stress could be a contributing factor. Long-term studies have shown that people who do Yoga display a marked improvement in blood pressure levels. People who have been practicing Yoga for five years or more show the best results. This also leads to an improved cardiovascular system (the parts of the body that ensure the flow of blood and oxygen to every part of your body) while also benefitting the heart.
- Improves Sleep: It is not just about being able to go to sleep. How well you sleep also has a large impact on your health. Deep sleep is essential for our physical and mental well-being, as much as good food and exercise are. It restores your vigour and relaxes you. Studies have shown that people who do Yoga regularly tend to sleep much better than others, even those who do other forms of exercise.
- Helps in De-addiction: Yoga has shown to be immensely helpful for people who have recently quit alcohol or smoking. As people who are trying to quit can tell, the first few days and weeks are the most difficult. Regularly doing Yoga has helped people avoid the urges and develop the willpower to quit for good. In the long run, Yoga can help your body recover from the adverse effects of nicotine or excessive alcohol.
- Improves Dental Health: We bet you did not expect this on the list! Yet, studies have established a verifiable correlation between practicing Yoga and dental health. As per the findings of several studies, people who did Yoga regularly had markedly lower instances of teeth and gum problems (periodontal disease) and other similar oral diseases. The reason is likely that Yoga helps regulate other factors that affect your oral health, thus having an indirect effect on your teeth and gums.
- Encourages Healthy Eating: Yoga helps you stay focused and pay attention to things that most people would take for granted. This can have many different benefits by itself but one of the most important is that it helps you focus on what you are eating and recognise when you are full. Other studies have also shown that Yoga helps avoid binge eating.
Yoga also seems to have a number of other benefits even though the link has not been scientifically established yet, mostly due to experimental limitations. Yoga has been related to and seen to show promise in helping with relieving migraines, reducing chronic pain, lowering inflammation, etc. Further, the physical activity involved helps promote strength, flexaibility and a healthy physique.
If you want to adopt Yoga for a healthy life, the first step may be as simple as searching for “Yoga trainer near me” on your phone or trying some yoga asanas for beginners. The health benefits of Yoga alone should be sufficient to draw you in. The additional benefits listed above will surely add the proverbial cherry on top.
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