It would not be wrong to define Yoga as a way of life. The word Yoga has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuvi” which means the union of the spirit with the universal consciousness. Yoga is a gift to the world from India and traces its existence back to 5000 years. Many people perceive yoga as a physical form of exercise which involves twisting, turning, breathing and stretching in the most complicated ways possible. This just refers to the superficial aspect of the entire science that is profound and holds an infinite potential of human soul and mind.
The physical practice of yoga sustains and supports one no matter how young or old a person is. The understanding of the posture grows with time and the actions get more and more refined in addition to the working of the mechanics and external alignment. Yoga is no alien to the world. The definition of yoga varies from person to person. Few people employ it as a technique for meditating and a few employ it for treating their body ailments. Few people try to bring down their stress levels of their work and personal life by employing yoga techniques.
The following are the four ways in which yoga can help you with life and your meditation practice:
Mediation is all about sitting still for a certain period of time. Its time frame might be ten minutes to 100 minutes. The increased flexibility brought by yoga allows the body to be comfortable during any physical. Soon after finishing your yoga practice, you can find that you have more energy available to you for your meditation practice.
The first basic foundation of mindfulness is awareness of the body. Mindfulness can never exist in the abstract. It is actually quite hard to be aware of very subtle elements of our own experience of what we are doing if we are unaware of the important parts of the experience (the body) are doing. In other words, yoga helps us to be more aware of our own body. In turn, it helps with the very process of developing awareness as well as mindfulness.
Relaxation and Calmness
Yoga brings about a deeper awareness of the body including its joints as well as muscles. This has a very profound effect; it helps to keep our mind calm, thereby slowing down our emotions which help us to be more relaxed. Anytime during the end of your yoga session, you can find emotional buoyancy which is accompanied by calmness as well as clarity of mind.
Benefits of Yoga
While discussing the benefits offered from practicing yoga people often tend to address only the physical benefits offered with regular yoga practice. People only discuss the benefits such as muscle stiffness or increase in flexibility. Not much is discussed concerning the cognitive, psychological and benefits reaped from the regular practice of yoga. The benefits offered are plenty. Several studies have been done in order to assess the effectiveness of yoga for mental health and brain. The results have been quite promising. The five prominent benefits of practicing yoga on mind have been listed below.
Enhances Mental/Psychological Well-Being
Are you always under stress and feel tensed? Do you feel that you are carrying the burden of the entire world? Yoga can help you eliminate the negative thought process from your life and pave a way for promoting healthy feelings. As per reports from the British Psychological Society, Yoga can help you concentrate on your body and breath. This, in turn, can have a soothing effect on the mind of the practitioner and helps in relieving worries. Breathing exercises and yoga poses can help in discharging tension and frees one from the negative thought process. Practicing yoga can help a person in enhancing psychological well-being.
Helps With Depression and Anxiety
Yoga comprises of activities such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, socialization and a lot more. It is a powerful technique that aids in the reduction of depression and anxiety. As per research conducted at the Harvard University, yoga helps in regulation of the stress response in daily practitioners. Regular practice can help in lowering blood pressure. Yoga as well improves the rate of respiration. Yoga helps in resolving depression and anxiety without any need for taking medications that are expensive.
Improves Concentration and Boosts Memory
Many times in life, it becomes difficult to concentrate on the everyday tasks because of the work pressure and the associated stress. This issue can be addressed in a better manner by regularly practicing yoga poses that aid in boosting memory and improving concentration. The practice of concentration is quite common when it comes to yoga. This is the perfect manner in which one can calm their senses and clear their minds. Once you start focusing on your mind and eliminate the static noise from your head, you would be able to concentrate, focus on things and be able to perform in a much better manner.
Onset Of Mental Health Conditions Can Be Prevented
A lot of mental health problems set in during adolescence. Teenagers these days are diagnosed with a lot of psychological disorders. It is crucial to look for ways that can help in preventing the onset of mental health conditions. Yoga is quite helpful in such cases. Regular practice of yoga can help in protecting the adolescents from developing mental disorders. The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics featured a study that in which some subjects had been enrolled in classes that taught Kripalu Yoga. This involves breathing, meditation, relaxation and physical postures. The people who practiced this form of yoga on a regular basis demonstrated control, lower levels of tension, anxiety, improved resilience, enhanced mindfulness, better anger control and better moods. These factors help in the elimination of psychosomatic conditions in teenagers.
Curbs the Effects of Traumatic Experiences
There are many people who have traumatic experiences to deal with every day. This disrupts their normal life. Military personnel who have fought in wars, women who have undergone abuse and a lot more people end up developing a condition that is referred to as the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]. People with this condition suffer from flashbacks, nightmares and a lot of other symptoms. There are several mental treatments for this condition, however, many patients can be immune to these treatments. Hatha Yoga has been proven to be beneficial in cases where pharmacological and contemporary mental treatments have failed. Hatha Yoga has shown to be effective in bringing down the symptoms of PTSD according to studies taken by the American Psychological Association and can be a great tool in fighting against traumatic experiences.
Written by: Whitney Adams