Yoga – Enhances Your Health
Yoga is an ancient practice that incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses, all designed to be a full body workout while encouraging relaxation to reduce stress.
With many forms of exercise and training coming and going, yoga is one that has stood the test of time, having been around for more than 5,000 years.
The name ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji” meaning union. So yoga is a practice that brings together the mind and the body…… and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation.
Together, these three elements can lead to measurable improvements in factors connected with cardiovascular health – such as improvements in the quality of sleep, the lowering of blood pressure and reductions in inflammatory processes – that can lead to artery-damage. The individual yoga poses or asanas are isometric, which means they rely on holding muscle tension for a short period of time. This type of physical activity improves cardiovascular fitness and circulation.
Yoga breathing techniques increase breath control and while this has not provided a cure for asthma, there is some evidence it might help with asthmatic symptoms. A review published in 2016 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that yoga was associated with improvements in quality of life and symptom management for people with moderate asthma.
The gentle stretching in yoga releases muscle and joint tension, while increasing flexibility. Holding and maintaining many of the asanas encourages strength and endurance, while weight-bearing asanas may help prevent osteoporosis.
And while you might be thinking ‘yoga isn’t for me’, ‘I’m not flexible enough’, ‘or ‘it’s a bit gentle and slow’, there are over 100 different forms of yoga practices out there, so you’re bound to find a style that suits you.