We have all been told that Yoga is healthy, but what is it and is it really healthy? From the Mayo clinic, Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation.
Yoga dates back to about the mid-3rd millennium and was thought to have originated in the Indus Valley Civilization sites. There are many different variations of yoga across history as the idea spread and became fostered among different societies. Different types of yoga focus on different aspects of the mind or the body. Some styles are also more vigorous than others and can be much difficult in terms of strength, but can improve muscle tone greatly. Other styles focus more on the precise alignment of postures and can increase endurance.
Many people taut the benefits of yoga on the mind and the body. Beginners mention that they feel much less stressed right after their first class. This can be due to the mediation techniques that are taught in some types of yoga classes. In addition to this, there are multiple biochemical responses that occur when an individual engages in yoga. The first is a lowering of the amount of neurotransmitters that are present. This can create the calm feeling that beginners mentioned. In addition to this, almost all yoga students claim that they are happier after every class. This can be attributed to the boost in oxygen levels in the brain when it is performed.
Yoga can also reduce the likelihood heart disease and lower blood pressure. Yoga has been known to slow the resting heart rate in individuals. This is particularly important because our hearts grow larger and contract stronger as a result of exercise. In addition to this, it has also been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In addition to all of these benefits, yoga has been used as a therapeutic treatment. Yoga has been prescribed to relieve some chronic medical conditions such as: asthma back pain, arthritis and many more.
However, even though all these benefits are stated, yoga is not without its risks. You should speak to your primary care physician if you have any preexisting conditions that would limit you from participating in yoga. Injuries usually occur when individuals strain themselves and can involve damage to the: neck, shoulders, spine, legs, and knees.
As with any other sport, take the necessary precautions to prevent injury and you will start seeing some of the benefits as soon as your first class.