Yoga for health
When you hear the word “yoga” what comes to mind? For most of us, images of different poses come to mind. The word yoga originates from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to yoke” or simply connect. It aims to connect the mind and body. Yoga is perceived as being spiritual – a way to connect to your inner being. It is not a religion. Rather it is an art or practice of uniting your mind and body as one.
If you are new to yoga, there are different ways you can incorporate yoga into your lifestyle. You can begin by watching YouTube videos , taking a yoga class for beginners or visiting yoga websites. I am a self taught yogi. I learned how to do yoga by looking at pictures of different poses and trying them out. To my surprise, I was able to do most of the poses depicted on my deck of yoga cards.
Why even do yoga? There are several health benefits associated with the practice of yoga. Yoga not only increases flexibility, but it is a great way to reduce stress One study found that yoga was able to increase participants’ flexibility by up to 35 % after 8 weeks . Yoga has also been linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Another study found that daily yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, which can help fight food craving. When you are aware of what you eat, the flavor of the food , and being in the moment; then you are less likely to overeat. You will get the cue your body is sending when it is starting to get full.
In addition, yoga helps you sleep better. When you are able to get adequate hours of sleep, your body is able to function better. Harvard researchers found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality of participants’ who suffered from insomnia .
Try a few yoga poses in the morning or before you go to bed and see how much better your mind and body will feel.