Everything we do calls for stress and constant running around. In the middle of all this chaos, yoga is a great way to connect with your inner self and stay healthy at the same time.
Through its deep breathing, stretching, mindful exercise, yoga is also an effective method to keep most stress-related diseases at bay. In fact, no matter what your lifestyle, you could learn a thing or two from this ancient exercise form that benefits your mind and body, both. Here’s looking at why yoga is meant for people of all shapes and sizes…yes, even you!
Yoga helps combat stress. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicinefound that yoga has a positive impact on various kinds of neurological disorders. Their findings suggest that yoga might help patients in fighting with the symptoms of neurological disorders such as acute headache, psychological depression and so on. Published in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, this study revealed that women, even beginners, who practice hatha yoga may boost happy hormones by diminishing stress levels.
Yoga helps asthma patients. According to a research study presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Seattle, adults who suffered from asthma experienced “increased quality of life and reduced asthma symptoms after 10 weeks of yoga practice”.
Yoga helps in battling weight loss in middle age. While on the one hand yoga helps increase strenght and flexibility, it also helps with weight loss when you reach middle age, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle. Researchers studied that people who are overweight in their middle age and who practised yoga daily for over a decade lost considerable amount of weight.
Yoga even helps cancer patients fight fatigue. Cancer survivors who practice yoga are able to sleep better and fight fatigue more efficiently, according to a recent study. Yoga helps reduce stress levels and boosts the immune system. Thus yoga forms like hath yoga are increasingly recommended to all cancer survivors, combined with restorative breathing exercises to help improve their sleep patterns.
Tips for Starting Yoga. We recommend a few things to keep in mind: Go for a style that suits your body type: Yoga classes and asanas may differ for people with different body types. Some may only focus on meditation and deep breathing, whereas others might focus on rigorous and strenuous yoga moves.
You and your body type are unique: Understand this: Yoga is not only about flexibility. Don’t try and idealise images and postures as presented in glossy health magazines. Those are people who have attained this kind of flexibility after years of practice and fitness routine. Go at your own pace.
Maintain your own pace: There is no need to rush into any kind of asana or yoga pose too soon. Use straps, blocks or other tools to suit your needs and requirements. Ask your yoga instructor for help and make sure you take adequate rest and proper precautions. Listen to your body: Don’t force yourself into any of the asana. Try and read your body signals and stop when you think you can’t take it anymore.
The right way of incorporating yoga in your daily workout routine. Depending on what your needs are, you can choose a yoga routine that works for you or you could participate in a host of workout activities at a time. The best way to go about overall fitness will be to do weight training for strength, circuits/rope jumping/sprinting/kickboxing for cardio fitness and Yoga for flexibility.
Now, let’s take a quick look at three yoga postures that would benefit every one in general.
Sitali Pranayama. Sit in a comfortable erect position and make sure your head, neck and spine are in line. Take deep breaths for a few minutes and close your eyes. Open your mouth simultaneously by enchanting ‘OM’ loudly. Now curl the tongue and hang it outside your mouth. Now inhale deeply as if you are sipping through a straw. Focus on your breathing. This exercise will have a direct impact on your abdomen and lower ribs. In the end, complete the asana by closing the mouth and breathing normally through your nostrils. You can perform 10 reps of this asana, for 2 minutes each.
Bhastrika. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Close your eyes and start exhaling and inhaling via nose by focusing on the abdominal muscles. As soon as you release your abdominal muscles you’ll realize that your diaphragm contracts before you start to inhale. Hear the sound of your breath and perform this asana for 5 times at a stretch. Give it a pause. Breathe normally. And start again. Complete one to two rounds on a daily basis and increase the number of your breaths by 5, each week. Keep in mind that bhastrika should not be performed by people who suffer from heart diseases, chronic constipation or ulcers without taking due consent from your doctor.
Ujjayi Breathing. Sit in a comfortable position. Make sure that your shoulders are not hunched. Take deep breaths and expand your abdomen fully while you inhale and contract your abdomen fully while you exhale. This asana works on the lower rib cage.