You will not get wrinkles if you regularly do yoga exercises. This statement or useful advice you may have heard from many yogis or your yoga instructor. In fact, this statement is true as yoga increases the stretching ability of your muscles and your body becomes more elastic and beautiful, as well. Yoga is the only exercise that not only shapes up your body, but also cures many diseases.
In yoga, you will find many “asana or yoga poses” that stimulate our internal organs,and they perform their function in much better way. Like “tritone asana” that stimulate the adrenal glands and improves kidney functioning. Yoga not only helps you in reducing your weight, but a relaxed mind, glowing skin and strong body are the byproducts of doing yoga. Yoga releases stress and yoga postures and meditation act as a stress reliever. You can also improve your observation skill by practicing yoga like “gyan asana” which helps to concentrate, increase memory and kills negative thoughts.
Yoga postures, asana, mudras, are so beneficial for the human body that it must be in routine of every man and woman. Yoga has been originated in India, and you will find a lot of yogis there but it does not mean that yoga is not in practice, in the rest of the world. Even in America 20.4 million people are practicing yoga as a fitness activity and curing depression and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are found to be causes of many diseases like sugar, blood pressure and other psychological diseases. Anxiety has many adverse effects on health and is connected to coronary heart diseases. Stress can damage the immune system of body (Segerstrom & Miller, 2004). Stress and Many efforts have been made to find out non-pharmacological treatments to relieve stress and yoga is one of them. Yoga was originated in India and has been in practice more than 5000 years ago and was used to cure severe pain, mental illnesses and symptoms of menopause (Booth-LaForce, 2007). But it gained popularity in America and Europe in recent years.
Yoga has received much attention today as a treatment for anxiety and depression. The exercises of yoga can be simple and challenging, based on the physical strength of a person. Hatha yoga is the most common type of yoga and it consists of three things, yoga poses, asanas and breathing practice. At the end of yoga exercises, meditation is also made to relax body and mind. After practicing yoga exercises, it was found out that yoga is very helpful in reducing anxiety and depression. Yoga works like other stress relieving techniques like meditation or relaxation. Yoga decreases the stress which later helps in reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
Many studies have proved that yoga has the ability to cure anxiety and depression. In 2008, a study was conducted at the university of Utah which was based on the responses of participants to pain (Khalsa SB, 2004). People who have stress also are more sensitive to pain. In this study, 42 people contributed in which 12 were yoga practitioners and 14 were people suffered from fibromyalgia and 16 were healthy people. Fibromyalgia is a stress related diseases in which patients are more sensitive to pain. Three groups experienced thumbnail pressure, and an MRI was done of each group. Those who were suffered from Fibro myalgia experienced more pain, but yoga practitioners had more pain tolerance and thus less stress. The study proved that yoga can decrease pain and stress.
There are different kinds of anxiety disorders like social anxiety disorder and panic attacks. All these disorders are cured by medicines, but stress is less defined as compared to anxiety. Many persons experience anxiety and stress, but they are not diagnosed by the doctors,these people can also be benefited by yoga. Different researchers have examined the effects of yoga on stress and anxiety. Banerjee et al. have examined the effects of yoga on post-operative breast cancer patients (Banerjee et al., 2007). The results of the study showed that there was a significant decrease in the anxiety, in breast cancer patients. Many studies have been done to see results of yoga intervention on stress and it was found out that yoga plays an important role in stress reduction. And after practicing yoga the functional movement of the people experiencing stress also improved.
Those who practice yoga regularly are found with significantly lower level aggressiveness, excitement and symptoms of stress as headache and stomach ache. That is the reason people in America and Europe are doing yoga as stress reliever technique. These people reported that after yoga exercise they feel more relaxed and calm. The asana in yoga reduces tension in muscles which in turn reduces stress. Human body has a natural tendency to store stress in nervous system and muscles even the digestive system is more affected due to stress. Yoga is a valuable technique for releasing all the stress out of the body. Yoga does not only have asana and postures but after end of yoga class ‘shiv asana’ is practiced which is a very useful meditation. The breathing practice done in yoga is actually healed up process for many diseases including stress. By breathing,you take in oxygen and exhale out carbon dioxide. Duringayoga when we inhale maximum oxygen and hold it for long then it reaches almost every part of our body. When we experience stress we breathe very fast, and this increases stress even more. Yoga helps in regulating breathing by breathing practice which not only reduces stress, but also maintains our heart beat. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology care givers of people having dementia reported decrease in stress after doing yoga exercise (Waelde, L. C., et al, 2004). Their physical and emotional functioning also improved.
Yoga improves physical and mental health and reduces the negative impact of stress ontheimmune system by increasing levels of immunoglobulin A.While we practice yoga the bodily movements distract our mind from depressive thoughts. Moreover, fast breathing practice like Kapalabhati and then slower breathing helps in distraction. We keep our past in our minds and bodies and this block our energy flow. When energy does not get a way to flow we feel down, and this causes stress. Yoga actually releases energy and release tension and removes hurdles in happy living.
Yoga stimulates hormones in the human body and improves functioning and balance brain chemistry. Yoga decreases level of cortisol which is stress hormone and increases serotonin which is a stress reliever hormone. Yoga increases functions of the body by increasing secretion of necessary hormones. By practicing yoga asana daily, you can combat depression. Science has found out how yoga reduces stress. Researchers found that practicing yoga for 12 months can reduce biological mechanisms needed for an increase in immune system’s inflammation. This inflammation can cause severe diseases (David S, et al. 2012).From yoga perspective people suffered from depression lack in energy, in their lives. The energy in the body can be brought by breathing either diaphragmatic or three parts breath. Last but not least yoga brings lot of health benefits and develops mind and body.
Banerjee B, Vadiraj HS, Ram. A, et al. Effects of an integrated program in modulating psychological stress and radiation-induced genotoxic stress in breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Integr Cancer Ther. 2007. Vol. 6. Pp. 242-250.
Booth-LaForce C, Thurston RC and Taylor MR. A Pilot study of a Hatha yoga treatment for menopausal symptoms. Maturitas. 2007. Vol. 57. pp. 286-295.
Khasla SB. Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention: A Bibliometric Analysis of Published Research Studies. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. July 2004. Vol. (48)3. Pp. 269-85.
Segerstrom SC, Miller GE. Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004. 130. Pp. 601-630.
Waelde, L. C., Thompson. L., and Gallagher-Thompson, D. A pilot study of a yoga and meditation intervention for dementia caregiver stress.Journal of clinical Psychology. 2004. Vol. 60 (6). Pp. 677-87.