THE AMAZING 38 BENEFITS OF YOGA

38 Ways Yoga Improves Health

My experience inspired me to pore over the scientific studies I’d collected in to identify and explain how yoga can both prevent disease and help you recover from it. Here is what I found.

YOGA MEANS UNION, UNION OF BODY, MIND AND SOUL

What do we join through Yoga? First, we join our awareness to our own essential being; the spirit whose nature is pure consciousness.

 

Yoga is a Life Science. From this practice of turning inward come growth, insight and an understanding of our true self, of life and of us within this greater existence of life.

HOW CAN YOGA HELP WITH DEPRESSION?

Science supports several possibilities for how yoga helps with depression. Studies have found that it reduces levels of cortisol (a stress hormone that’s also secreted by the adrenals), which is often elevated in people with the disease.

 

And a study in India found that a yoga program that included asana, Pranayama, and meditation raised levels of serotonin and lowered levels of monoamine oxidase—two neurochemicals involved in depression.

Yoga is known to induce the relaxation response—to lower the activity of the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” mechanism and increase the work of the more restorative parasympathetic system; this characteristic could help with depression. But if that were the whole story, then postures that seem to rev up the sympathetic side—such as backbends and Sun Salutations—as well as rapid breathing techniques might be counterproductive to fighting stress and depression. The reality is that some yoga practices stimulate the nervous system and some are relaxing. It is the combination that in some complex way is beneficial.

 

One of the fruits of yoga practice is the realization of interconnections. Our bodies, minds, and emotions interact in complex ways that science is only just beginning to understand. In this dense web of interconnections, nothing we do has a single effect. In Urdhva Dhanurasana, you bring more oxygen into the bottom of the lungs (an area that usually gets less than the upper regions), your blood pressure and heart rate rise, pressure increases in the head and neck, and you stretch the muscles and organs in the front of the body as you compress those in back, where the adrenals are located.

From Patanjali’s perspective, the most reliable knowledge is derived from direct experience. The irony is that when we try to explain yoga in scientific terms when the science just isn’t there, we risk undermining our attempts to persuade others of yoga’s benefits.

WHAT COMES FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

Yoga poses this question! By using the many tools of Yoga including the Asana [postures], Pranayama [breath work], Meditation [Stilling the chattering mind] you gradually get a sense of yourself outside the physical realm.

 

Like a Lotus flower we have the opportunity to blossom from our depth, to openly and freely express our greatest potential and deepest beauty. Yoga uses physical postures, meditation, breath awareness and practical philosophy for living to counter the stresses of everyday life, create and maintain a healthy body and mind and achieve your highest potential.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF YOGA?

Yoga is an ancient practice and it was and still is a way to prevent ill health and keep the community well. The goal of Yoga is to achieve a clearer perception and a greater connection with your true self. When you’re connected with your true self, it becomes easier to see what is not your true self- your mind, body and thoughts, feelings, job and essentially all of the changing circumstances around you.

 

This discernment allows you to act from a place of self, and when you feel that, you experience less suffering.

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