We are living in a time of great unpredictability, with widespread social, environmental, and economic upheaval owing largely to the fallout from the ongoing Covid crisis. Yoga practise can be our "secret key" to achieving holistic well-being in the midst of such gloomy global scenarios by helping us restore our inner and outer peace and harmony.
Yoga, without a doubt, is the glue that holds together one's mental and physical selves, as well as the thread that ties one to the larger web of humanity and the cosmos. Although Yoga has been around for thousands of years and has its roots in India, it is still widely practised and widely regarded as beneficial because of the many different aspects of health it addresses.
Yoga can help you achieve nearly all of your health and wellness objectives, from boosting your immune system to decreasing stress and anxiety and enhancing muscle flexibility.
We highlight many of Yoga's positive effects on psyhcial, mental and psychological health:
Advantages to your physical health: The gradual stretching of muscles involved in the various poses/asanas in yoga helps to increase flexibility in those muscle groups. The majority of Yoga positions focus on building internal strength. Yoga has many benefits, including but not limited to increasing flexibility, strength, and muscle tone; protecting against injuries; boosting energy and metabolism; and reducing excess body fat. Yoga has been shown in numerous studies from all over the world to have significant physiological benefits, including the improvement of breathing, heart rate, etc., lowering of blood pressure, prevention of cardiovascular disease, and alleviation of chronic back pain and joint pain.
Doctors no longer advise patients with back pain to stay in bed for days at a time. Lying in bed reduces pressure on the lumbar spine, but has other negative effects, such as weakening the muscles. In most cases, the quicker you are able to get up and start moving around, the quicker you will feel better. When practised regularly, yoga can reduce back pain by fostering greater mobility and strength. De-stressing, slowing down, and becoming more in tune with one's body could all play a part.
Two 90-minute yoga sessions per week for 24 weeks was shown to significantly reduce back pain, according to a study published in the journal Spine. Furthermore, compared to those with back pain who received standard care, such as pain medication, they experienced less disability and depression. It appeared that yoga practitioners used less pain medication overall. Six months after the study ended, when all participants were contacted again, 68% of those in the yoga group were still regularly engaging in yoga, with each session lasting 33 minutes on average. That's encouraging because it suggests they benefited from yoga.
Advantages to your psychological health: Yoga has positive effects on psychological health because it is, essentially, a psychology. Practicing Yoga on a regular basis improves our health and increases feelings of appreciation and contentment. Furthermore, as Yoga provides an excellent opportunity to enter the "flow state," it is gaining popularity as an ancillary therapy for enhancing people's quality of life. Practicing yoga on a regular basis boosts our capacity for concentration and positivity, increases our capacity for introspection, and calms the mind, body, and spirit so that we can carry these benefits throughout the day. To improve your mental and emotional well-being, Yoga is the obvious first step.
If you are just starting out with Yoga, don't let the variety of postures (called "asanas") and breathing exercises (called "pranayamas") scare you off. And if anyone tries to tell you that Yoga is only for certain people, they are either lying or misinformed. Yoga is not a religion, but rather a philosophy of life that transcends the Yogic mystical tradition.
Through yoga, one develops self-awareness and an accepting perspective on one's own worth. You're learning to believe in yourself, which is a great step. When your subconscious mind tells you, "I'm worthy of this me time, this effort," you're more likely to go to the gym and make healthier food choices. In the end, everything hinges on how you interact with yourself. Having nothing to prove and nowhere to hide is a sign of a healthy, balanced ego, which develops as one gains confidence and a firm grasp on their sense of self and their centre. You find your inner strength and bravery. You are confident in your ability to weather any storm and can face even the most challenging conversations with confidence.
With yoga, you and your partner will enjoy better romantic times. If you can find inner calm and contentment, you'll be able to extend that same state of mind to your partner and see them with more compassion and an open heart. You've learned to control your temper and are less likely to react impulsively which is a sign of a healthy psyche.
It aids in the discovery of one's "dark" sides. By uniting opposites like light and dark, as in yoga, we can become more self-aware and attuned to our inner world. How do we take a look at the places where we have energy knots, tension, or tightness? In most cases, that's where we're concentrating our psyche or emotions. Asana is crucial because it allows us to work from the outside in. If you've ever felt stuck or tense in the area between your shoulder blades, try a backbend. You'll feel a tremendous sense of relief, whether or not you realise it at the time. Embracing one's flaws and doing one's best despite them requires doing the inner work to shift or change.
Advantages to your mental health: This includes your mood, behaviour, and general mental well-being. Whether you're a student or a working professional, a regular Yoga practise can help you focus better, calm your mind, and alleviate stress and anxiety. Doing both meditation and Yoga on a regular basis is the only way to achieve truly remarkable levels of mental clarity and calm. Long-term, the practise of Yoga can help anyone overcome depression, cultivate strong character traits like self-confidence and optimism, and increase their capacity for overcoming adversity (towards self and others).
Millions of people around the world are embracing Yoga as a means to improve their health, happiness, and overall quality of life. Putting in just 30 minutes a day to your Yoga practise can have long-lasting benefits. What are you waiting for, then? Get started on your own Yoga practise right now by rolling out your mat at home.