Monthly Archives: July 2017

Benefits of Yoga

1. An elevated mood and increase in contentment

When practicing yoga you are encouraged to regulate your breathing using meditation and deep breathing techniques. This enables you to slow your breathing; leaving you, feeling much more relaxed. However, there has also been research carried out that points to a stimulation of brain activity, leading to a more positive mood. The study found an increase in Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-ergic activity for those that practiced yoga regularly. The study was conducted over 12 weeks and compared a group that carried out a walking activity compared to a set of participants practicing yoga regularly, finding higher levels of GABA in the yoga group. Low levels of GABA have been associated with anxiety and depression.

2. Improves concentration and focus

Yoga has been proven to increase a person’s ability to focus and concentrate. Research has shown that people are far more able to focus and maintain their concentration after a yoga session. Researchers compared a yoga group to one that had performed a regular workout at the gym and found the gym group, on being asked to perform tasks, lacked focus. There were no definitive answers as to why this may occur. However, researchers pointed to the fact that yoga increases your self-awareness and leads to a less anxious state where cognitive function can be improved.

3. Improves mind/body connection

Yoga has long been shown to improve the relationship between mind and body, predominantly through the use of poses and particular breathing techniques. Particular poses and breathing techniques have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and throughout the nervous system. The ‘conversation’ your body has between the mental and the physical can be improved by many types of movement and exercise. Yoga is excellent for this very purpose as it encourages movement to be synchronized with breathing regulation. Ultimately, yoga is about unity of mind and body, with them being two sides of the same coin.

4. Increases self-knowledge

Self-awareness or self-knowledge is encouraged by many psychotherapists and natural healers. Those seeking this should be warned that it is not simple. However, yoga can bring about this awareness and the rewards are great. Once this has been attained, life becomes a much richer experience, with an outlook on life and general positive attitude that enables the yoga practitioner to experience physical sensations not usually felt within the confines of normal consciousness. Feelings not encroached on by word or thought can be a revelation, leading to subtle but definitely noticeable changes in the mind and spirit. By learning to ignore the chatter of the mind whilst strengthening the body, you are able to unlock the secrets of self-knowledge.

Yoga in Modern Times

Yoga in modern times is a combination of simple postures; postures that any person can handle without a struggle no matter their physical state. The simple combination of postures helps a person relax their mind and bodies and gain harmony with their environment. This simple exercise is the most effective way for a person to initiate and maintain a connection between them and their inner selves thereby maintaining their sanity and maintaining focus on their goals, dreams, and purposes in life. The exercise will help any person, of any age, to get rid of all other distractions that might prevent them from being who they should be in life.

Physically

Yoga is not all about the benefits of spirit and mind. In fact, the most common reason why people practice yoga in modern times is to receive certain physical benefits. Yoga helps people improve their physical state, in that; you will become more physically fit as you continue to practice yoga. However, there are more benefits apart from just physical fitness. Yoga has become one of the most effective solution to illnesses. For instance, there are studies and proof that have concluded that yoga has helped to heal people with physical bruises, AIDS, asthma, arthritis, high blood pressure, constipation, epilepsy, respiration problems, back pain, among other very serious diseases.

Spiritually

There are very few solutions to spiritual problems. Yoga is one of the recognized form of meditation that helps people gain spiritual health, spiritual realization, and spiritual calmness. Yoga has been in use for a long time; helping people find peace in themselves, know their potential, and increase their abilities in terms of knowledge. This simple practice is highly recommended for people who have spiritual conflicts. It is one of the most effective ways to bring inner peace and happiness.

Physiological

Our lives contain many activities, some positive, and some negative. For instance, there are people who have very stressful days at work; some people have troubles in their lives such as divorces or financial crisis. These problems are capable of breaking the physiological calmness of a person. Yoga is the best solution for people looking to maintain physiological calmness. It helps people keep focus, concentrate on the importance of their lives, relax their minds, and relieve most of the stress in their minds.

Yoga To Clear And Calm Your Mind

Understanding stress and the mind

Many people struggle with restless minds that seem to be constantly filled with worrisome thoughts and fears about the future. These thoughts can become the source of serious anxiety and uneasiness if left unchecked. The root cause of these thoughts and feelings often lay in outside aspects of your life, such as fearing you may lose your job or having a family member facing an illness. These thoughts trigger a chemical reaction in the brain that release hormones that can enhance the negative feelings, leaving your mind whirring with negative thoughts and general anxiousness. One of the best ways to clear out these harmful thoughts and reduce stress is through a calming practice such as yoga, which helps you to regulate the chemical processes and cope with the emotional side effects.

Calming benefits of Yoga

Yoga’s calming powers come from its physically demanding movements and its close ties with meditation. First off, exercise has been shown to provide immense benefits to clarity of mind and overall mood due to the release of endorphins. These hormones cause a sense of euphoria and general happiness, which help to combat negative thoughts by boosting your mood and allowing you to focus on more positive ideas. Yoga can be incredibly demanding physically at any level, resulting in a strong and steady release of endorphins. Yoga also helps to calm you because its moves initiate a form of meditation that can lead to a greater clarity of mind. Meditation through yoga also helps you to gain a stronger overall focus, as the moves require a great deal of concentration to perform correctly. Consistent yoga helps to train your mind to focus on the present situation, rather than worrying about the past or the future, and in turn leads to a calmness that extends beyond the workout.

Choosing the right style

Some forms of yoga require high levels of flexibility that may be too difficult for beginners. There are also forms of yoga that include outside factors, which may not be ideal for everyone. For example, Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, takes place in a room that is set to a very high temperature in order to enhance the physical and mental benefits. However, this heat level can often lead to dehydration or exhaustion in people not used to such strenuous activity at such temperatures. Regardless of the style you choose, the most important aspect is to be consistent and put forth an honest effort. You won’t experience the benefits of yoga unless you commit your mind to the experience.

Long term benefits

Staying consistent with a yoga routine can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the process, as you cannot only learn to perform the moves better but strengthen your ability to meditate and calm your mind. While you can experience the positive benefits of yoga after simply a single session, repeated practice not only helps you to keep your mind calmer for longer but also enables you to achieve a greater degree of mental clarity.

Tips For Yoga Beginners

Yoga is one of the most incredible and useful exercise regimens known to man. It has more than 50 distinct and highly valuable benefits for mind, body, and spirit and is low impact so accessible to all age groups and health levels. Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years but it can seem like a minefield to get started with. There’s the different poses, language and techniques that can seem overwhelming to a beginner. However, once you have begun it becomes a lot easier.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others

Chances are there are people in the group who have been doing yoga for significantly longer than you and others who seem like they really know what they are doing. Try not to compare yourself to them as you may end up disheartened and give up. Accept that everyone has their own unique style and are at different stages; concentrate on what you are doing instead.

2. Listen to your body

Yoga can engage muscles and parts of your body that you might not be used to exercising. It is important you listen to your body and if it starts to ache then it might be time to have a break. Try not to do too much too soon and make sure you take a break when your body is telling you to.

3. Wear loose and comfortable clothing

Yoga involves stretches and movements that you might not be used to doing. By wearing loose and comfortable clothing, you are ensuring you will not be uncomfortable when doing it. Once you have tried it, a few times you will be more aware of what type of clothing is best for you.

4. Stay hydrated

The movements, particularly if you are not used to them, can be quite exhausting and you may find you are sweating a lot. It is important to make sure you drink enough water both before, during and after the yoga session.

5. Go for bare feet if possible

Bare feet will help you with your balance and ensure a smooth quality of moves. If you do not want to go bare foot then you can purchase yoga socks that have grips on the bottom to help with balance.

6. Maintain a sense of humor

Remember that you are learning a new skill and cannot be expected to excel at it from the beginning. Yoga can include some unusual poses and some people may find these harder than others. Maintain a sense of humor and you can get through the first few sessions until you know what you’re doing.

7. Eat a light meal a couple of hours before the session

As with other types of exercise, avoid eating a large meal just before starting a session. Try to each a small, light meal a couple of hours before the session and eat a healthy meal afterwards.

8. Practice little and often

Initially it might be quite exhausting and seem overwhelming to keep up with all the poses and language. You are better off practicing in small and regular intervals to increase your skills and build up your endurance.