What Are the Benefits of Yoga, and Why Do People Do It?
02/24/2023 12:00 AM
There is never a bad time to start doing yoga and getting all of the benefits that come with it.One nationwide study conducted in 2017 found that almost one in seven people living in the United States participate in yoga on a daily basis. This indicates that yoga's popularity has surged in the United States since it was first brought there. There are many different types of yoga, and although the more advanced inversions and difficult practices may discourage some individuals from beginning the practice, there are also many other types of yoga that are appropriate for beginners of any age and degree of fitness.
According to Ross Rayburn, the director of Peloton Yoga and Meditation, new students should enroll in a beginner-friendly class.He suggests that beginners begin with once a week and then progressively increase the frequency until they reach their desired level.
We have included everything first-timers need to know about starting a regular yoga practice, whether they wish to join a yoga studio or participate in a virtual yoga session from the comfort of their own homes. Naturally, our health and fitness experts say that you should talk to your primary care doctor before starting a new exercise plan.
What precisely does it mean to practice yoga?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that has been in use for thousands upon thousands of years. The roots of yoga may be traced back to Indian philosophy. Yoga can range from being a meditative and relaxing activity to being physically strenuous and taxing.A mind-body exercise frequently entails a series of physical positions followed by deep breathing in order to achieve the desired mind-body connection.
According to Rayburn, trying to explain yoga is like attempting to explain spirituality or culture. "Since I can remember, I've always had a soft spot for definitions that can change and resonate in a variety of different ways depending on context, audience, and other factors. The word "yoga" may be used to describe any activity, whether internal or external, that weaves together concentration, understanding, and the ability to make proactive decisions.
According to Rayburn's explanation, the particular benefits that you receive from practicing a certain kind of yoga may vary depending on the type of yoga that you do on a regular basis. Regular yoga practice has many benefits, such as making you stronger and more flexible and helping you deal with stress. In his explanation, he says that "alignment-based yoga may help with strength, flexibility, and function," while "meditative or devotional types of yoga may have many benefits for mental and emotional health."
The following are some of the well-established medical benefits associated with yoga:
- According to the findings of a study that was published in the International Journal of Yoga in 2016, a group of male college athletes who practiced yoga twice a week for a period of ten weeks saw improvements in their flexibility and balance. A systematic study that was done in 2019 backs up these results. It found that the flexibility of yogis' lower bodies improved by a lot.
- Those who did Hatha yoga for 12 weeks saw big improvements in their cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle strength.Hatha yoga was found to be just as good as a stretching-strengthening exercise program at improving strength, flexibility, mobility, and other things in inactive people, according to the results of another review of studies on inactive people.
- It has been known for a long time that yoga has the ability to increase a practitioner's degree of physical consciousness since the practice places an emphasis on connecting the breath with movement. The preliminary findings of a study that was carried out in 2022 suggested that multiple sclerosis patients who participated in a yoga program that lasted for twelve weeks noticed significant changes in their body awareness.
- You could experience the effects of yoga after only one session, which might help you feel less stressed overall. In a study that was published in 2016, it was found that older people who practiced yoga regularly over a period of eight weeks had lower levels of salivary cortisol, which was evidence that they had lower levels of stress. According to the findings of a study that was carried out in 2017, middle-aged women produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after practicing yoga for ninety minutes compared to when they were at rest.
- According to the findings of a 2013 study, regular yoga practice, when combined with a well-balanced diet, has the potential to help with weight loss and maintenance.One more study that was conducted in 2018 found that regular yoga practice helps with maintaining a balanced diet, gaining control over emotional eating, and improving exercise levels.
- Yoga may be a good way to avoid injuries by correcting imbalances in the way muscles are used. This is because yoga can increase range of motion and reduce muscle tension.This is accomplished by practicing yoga regularly.
- Help with pain management: In 2017, researchers did a thorough study and found that yoga is one of the most effective ways to lower levels of persistent pain.Research that was conducted in 2020 and published the following year found that yoga and other forms of back pain treatment were effective in twenty of the twenty-five randomized controlled trials that were conducted.
- The management of the symptoms of a long-term illness By maintaining a regular exercise routine, one may reduce their risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. According to research that was published in 2015 by the Massachusetts General Hospital, thousands of people who participated in a relaxation program that lasted for an entire year and included activities such as meditation, yoga, and prayer reduced the number of times that they went to the doctor by 43 percent compared to the previous year. Kirtan Kriya meditation, which incorporates chanting and finger positions, was shown to have significant effects on lowering the immune system's inflammatory response after only eight weeks of practice. The research was conducted at UCLA. This provides cause for optimism given that increased levels of inflammation have been connected to practically every major illness.