Most of us would have dabbled with Yoga sometime or the other in our life. Many of us would have pursued it quite seriously with differing degrees of benefits accruing. Serious practitioners or otherwise, it may be useful to be reminded of the benefits of Yoga which the author of this article captures in a very simple manner. Team RetyrSmart tends to agree with the author that for all the benefits it offers, Yoga cannot be seen as a cure all and must be followed along with other healthy practices.
Yoga can make you feel better in the long term
Yoga has long been touted as the panacea for all of life’s ills. So does it truly hold up? What about its long-term health benefits? There’s no doubt that yoga, like many forms of exercise, has many health benefits.
For instance, certain forms of yoga can improve your strength. One study showed Bikram yoga improved people’s deadlift strength. In addition, yoga helps you to improve your flexibility. And, as with any exercise, yoga can help you to relieve stress and improve your mood.
But what specifically is it about yoga that gives you that extra healthy boost now and over the long-term?
Inflammation acts as the bridge between our unhealthy actions and ill-health. In the medical arena, there’s a strong association between inflammation and various chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People who are inactive, obese and eat an unhealthy diet have greater levels of inflammation and, therefore, greater levels of disease. But often a person’s genes can make them prone to greater levels of inflammation. In either case, yoga can improve inflammation-based blood markers and reduce the expression of inflammation causing genes.
Increases Body Awareness
There are many benefits to having better body awareness. Increased body awareness means you’ll know which foods are good or bad for you. You can hear your body when it tells you it’s in pain. You’ll know when you need to exercise versus when you need to relax. You become better at sensing your own and other people’s emotions. And you generally have an improved self-esteem and regard for your own body. Over time, yoga improves your body awareness level and rewards you with these benefits.
Improves Quality of Life for Diabetics
In a study of diabetics, yogic breathing not only improved blood sugar levels but also improved the individual’s social, physical and psychological health. While this study only focused on diabetics, it suggests that similar results could be had for other individuals.
Reduces Cardiovascular Disease
More than 90 million Americans live with the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease as of 2017. Considering our population is 323 million in 2016, that’s more than a quarter of us living day-to-day with this disease. Fortunately, yogis can breathe easy as your cardiovascular disease risk decreases with a long-term practice.
Helps manage blood pressure
Part of having cardiovascular disease is having high blood pressure. So if yoga can help you lower your blood pressure, then one can assume it can help lower your cardiovascular disease risk. One systematic review discovered that yoga may be a useful adjunct intervention to help with pre-hypertension and hypertension.
At the end of the day, no one should be looking to one intervention as the cure-all for life’s ills. Instead, incorporate yoga with a healthy diet, meditation practice, social activity and other forms of exercise to ensure you’re receiving greater health from all angles…