Probably, the most misconstrued of all the facts, its pure injustice, confining Yoga to just as a means for combating Stress….Because, such a statement grossly overlooks the myriad other benefits that practicing Yoga can provide to the one who practices it rightly.
For the layman, Yoga makes you feel healthier—in mind, body and spirit, fresher, more energized and composed, thus making a strong & tough mind and body.
Yoga means “Yuj” Or “Union” of the Self with the Divine Consciousness. The postures and meditation techniques are a methodology to attain that goal.
There are different styles of Yoga-- most common & widely practiced being the ”Ashtanga Yoga” & “Hatha Yoga”, which teaches a number of postures, and breathing techniques…
Even if you don’t believe in the spiritual side of Yoga, you can still practice it, for the number of health benefits it delivers.
-It helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, blood pressure, headaches, back pain (most common problem), Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, heart problems.
- Improves Flexibility (one of the important fitness aspects), Muscle tone, strength, and stamina.
- Yoga also helps to strengthen the respiratory system, thus helping with problems, like asthma, etc.
- Improves concentration, memory and self-esteem, mental toughness.
- Improves facial and skin texture, voice, and improves circulation in general.
- Stimulates the immune system, and is not age-specific.
- Helps control abnormalities of the Hormonal (Endocrine) System, especially of the Thyroid Gland, and its secretions, which contribute to effective functioning of the body.
- They massage and tone the internal organs, which improves their blood circulation.
- The Twisting Poses, Forward Bends, like Half-seated twists (Ardha-Matsyendrasana), Plough (Halasana), Bow, etc. stimulate the Pancreas to manage insulin levels better, which inturn can help manage Diabetes.
- Helps in weight management, by boosting metabolism.
- Yoga also helps in case of pregnant women, where postures like the Cobbler pose, etc. are useful.
Getting back to the topic of discussion, it also helps to effectively deal with stress, and related problems like stomach disorders, constipation, insomnia, etc.
Not only that while practicing meditation as a part of Yoga, the brain sends out an increased amount of alpha-waves, which relaxes the mind and body, and gives a feeling of rejuvenation.
The yoga exercises are not fast and forceful, but instead involve slow and steady movements, which incorporate the whole body and mind, hence, a favorite among the elderly.
Yoga is a form of “Mental Gym” for the mind, which controls the body, and inturn all the problems and ailments.
Lastly, but one of the most important advantages of yoga lies in its ability to correct the ostural imbalances.
As a result of faulty posture over the years, especially a sedentary lifestyle, adaptive shortening and muscular strength imbalances, the major joints in the body, like the neck, knee, and the lower back region are subjected to a lot of stress, which causes lower-back pain, and other problems.
It can be used to relieve tension in the muscles of the neck, lower-back, forearm, those around the eyes, common among the corporate professionals, working with the computer for long hours.
Not to dis-regard the importance of other forms of exercises, safe to say that a little Yoga incorporated into the daily fitness routine, along with exercises focusing on Strength, Stamina, can be used as a holistic approach to wellness.
Thus, I hope the above discussion proves that presence/absence of stress need not be the dictating factor to practice Yoga…Practice it to know it!!!!!