Yoga: Benefits

The health benefits of regular practice of Yoga

Improved posture & joint protection

This is more important than just looking better.
Improving your posture protects your joints and
physical well being well into old age.
Joint pain, back pain, knee problems, neck and
shoulder pain are now some of the main physical
symptoms that plague people as they get older,
but it can also affect younger people. High impact
exercise like aerobics, running, athletics, football,
tennis, squash and many other sports are great for
fitness but can take their toll on joint and
spinal health over time.

Improved digestion

A real benefit, yoga massages and cleanses all organs of the digestive system
as you move in and out of postures. There are also specific posture’s to aid
efficiency of the large colon. Improving digestion is a MAJOR benefit,
as a nutritional therapist with a lot of experience in looking after people’s
digestion yoga benefits should not be underestimated.

Improved circulation

All exercise improves circulation by the very nature of movement and impact,
that helps send de-oxygenated and nutrient reduced blood, back to collect
more oxygen and nutrients. It also helps move the lymph fluid around the
lymph vessels which is vital in removing toxic build up from all tissues,
which is vital in reducing the toxic load.

Yoga does all this and more as the postures open up the joints and stretches
the muscles, and of course massages the organs. Toxins are released and
nutrients are refreshed in the joints.

Improved cardiovascular health

Dynamic Yoga involves working the major muscle groups and in Vinyasa Flow
there is no break in between postures. This keeps heart rate up warming up
the muscles and increasing metabolism.

Assists the body’s detoxification pathways

This is done not just by moving Lymph therefore moving toxins, but by the breath
too (and sweat). In dynamic Yoga we use ‘Ujjayi’ breath. This when the back of
the throat is relaxed and opens up to let more air in from the nasal passages
rather than the mouth. This warms the breath and creates heat in the body.
The body can expell much through the breath, and as you move through the sun
salutes and standing asana’s heat builds up and spreads through the body.
It is believed to energise the brain and strengthens and purifies the nervous system.

When you read all this – it stands to reason why Yoga will improve
your well being when practiced regularly.

A spiritual path…

Yoga is considered a spiritual path and does in fact meet ‘Union’, either the union
with the self and the universe. The goal of Yoga is Yoga. Hatha Yoga or the physical
part of Yoga is just one aspect of Yoga. Other paths are Karma Yoga (Action and
consequence) Bhakti Yoga (Devotional Yoga: Prayer, worship and chanting)
Raja (Royal) Yoga – The science of physical and mental control.
Jnana Yoga – the Yoga of wisdom and knowledge.

Yoga caution

Like any form of exercise, if care isn’t taken damage can be done. In Yoga injuries can happen from
doing too much too soon, never be in competition with the person next to you. Be kind to your body
and recognise your limits. You will surpass them one day with practice.