Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient ethnic practice - it originated in India many thousands of years ago -designed to develop a union of body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is a complete science of life that confers balance upon the practitioner.
In recent years, plenty of research has been carried out on therapeutic the effects of Yoga. In fact, studies have shown that the practice of Yoga contributes enormously to one's physiological and psychological growth.
Yoga normalizes and regulates electrical and chemical impulses within the brain, heart rhythm, blood pressure, as well as the skin's capacity for resistance besides many other internal functions of the body.
On the psychological level, Yoga helps curtail anxiety, depression, irritability and moodiness. The continued practice of Yoga is known to enhance one's comprehensive ability, memory, heal old traumas, improve emotional stability and render joy and happiness to the practitioner. All said and done, the practice of Yoga leads to overall vitality and rejuvenation.
This, in fact, is just the tip of the iceberg; most of the abovementioned benefits are secondary to the original intents. Primarily, Yoga helps melt down the ego and, subsequently, the practitioner attains union one's Individual consciousness and the cosmic consciousness.
The ancient Yogis (seers and sages) viewed the gross, physical body as a vehicle, the mind as its driver and only the soul as the True Self. Here, action, emotion and intelligence are considered the three forces that draw the vehicle.
These seers and sages put together exclusive teachings and techniques to unite the body, mind and soul into one harmonious whole through the balance of action, emotion and intelligence.
Branches of Yoga
Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga and Tantra Yoga are all regarded as main paths of Yoga. Then again there are many others. All the different Yoga schools of thought, techniques and practices are just ways of reaching the same goal.
Some of the benefits of Yoga:
- Enhances muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
- Reduces fat, Improves circulation, Stimulates the immune system
- Keeps one younger biologically, i.e. younger than one's chronological age
- Reduces levels of chemicals connected to stress eg. Cortisol and lactate
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Increases flow of air to the lungs, thereby resulting in better, fuller breathing, particularly useful to asthma patients
- Relax you and helps handle stress situations more easily
- Stimulates positive thoughts and self-acceptance
- Increases one's sense of self esteem
- Perks up one's powers of concentration and creativity
- Helps heal old traumas
- Boosts emotional stability
- Develops a sense of well being and calm
- Develops comprehensive awareness
- Furthers inter-dependence between body, mind, and soul
- Encourages one live in the concept of "oneness."
- Helps the practitioner discover one's True Self
- Sets you free from the illusions and preconceptions that prevents you from leading a fulfilled life
- Helps attain union between Individual Consciousness and the cosmic consciousness
Little wonder, then, that Yoga is considered the optimum holistic science of health.