Benefits Of Asanas

(September 5, 2010)

Should stomach be empty to do yoga? How many hours before and later should we do asanas?

Although Yoga has been a practice that has spanned many centuries, it has only recently come to prominence in a world that is largely dominated by western medicine. The benefits of asanas and the many practices of yoga rely on the fact that, in our daily lives, we do not use a number of muscles within our bodies. It is these muscles, primarily out of neglect, that cause us the most trouble later on in our lives. As a result, the yoga positions help exercise these lesser used muscles within our body to make them stronger and better guard them against the dangers of conditions like arthritis and others. Some of the more prominent benefits of the poses in yoga include strengthening your arms, feet, legs, hands as well as the lower abdomens, lower back and shoulders. Moreover, the stretching and breathing exercises of the discipline also help substantially improve ones stability and ensure that the joints, tendons and muscle fiber stay tender and limber.  As a result, individuals that suffer from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis will usually see a more noticeable improvement in the stiffness, pain and other symptoms that the condition generates. The benefits of hatha yoga poses are centered on the strengthening and stretching of the back muscles and neck muscles as well as in relieving back and neck pain.
Yoga is a discipline that covers many postures that all have some significant value in helping the body cope not only with disintegration, but also with enhancing performance and ability. Some benefits of vinyasa yoga, power yoga and the bikram yoga, widely believed to be the more athletic forms of yoga, include an increase in the a body’s endurance through a very specific sequence of poses that become more challenging as you progress through certain stages.  While a lot of the benefits of asanas has been centered around the physical positives, one should not ignore the fact that yoga also offers many benefits to a persons mental health as well. The many relaxation techniques have proved to be rather beneficial in these stressful and tension filled times, allowing people to relax and refresh their mind. The fact that yoga also helps reduce anxiety and stress only means that it results in a much better state of overall health as well as mood and concentration. Children are also known to experience the benefits of asanas as it can help with problems of hyperactivity and allow body control with the help of yoga breathing and yoga asanas.

Submitted by A on September 5, 2010 at 03:59

Yes your stomach should preferably be empty while doing yoga so that you do not face a problem or get uncomfortable while doing the inversions like the Sirshasana or the head stand and the Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand and the Paschimottanasana or the forward bend pose or any other asana or pose that requires you to bend. You should ideally eat 1 to 2 hours prior to your yoga practice so that your body has enough time to digest the food and create energy required for doing the yoga asanas or postures and you should wait at least for half an hour after your yoga practice and then eat. It does not matter when you practice yoga as long as you make sure that your body has had enough time to digest the food you ate and it has gone far away from your stomach into your intestines. This will also ensure that you have lots of energy for your yoga practice.

Neglecting this simple rule and eating just before your yoga practice or not allowing enough time for digestion will create several problems. For example you might get stomach upsets and acidity as the digestive acids are pushed back in the opposite direction instead of being allowed to go to the intestines. Or you might feel really uneasy and might throw up all your food if you do inversions immediately after eating. That would make you feel more uneasy and weak and ill as your body has not had a chance to digest your food and absorb the energy from the food that it needs for the practice of yoga asanas or postures.

What you can do if you practice yoga in the evening is eat your lunch by 12 PM so you have enough time to digest and assimilate your food. Eat food that is easily digested by your body and does not require lot of time for digestion like meats. But make sure that you do eat something two hours before practicing yoga or you will not have much energy to do any of the yoga asanas or poses. You can eat soups, fruits and vegetables instead. After practicing your yoga asanas or poses do not eat immediately. Wait for some time and eat only if you feel really very hungry. Normally it is absolutely safe to eat after one hour of practicing yoga as this gives your body enough time to relax.

Submitted by G M on January 27, 2009 at 10:44

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