1. Stress Relief:
Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma, and insomnia.
2. Pain Relief:
Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.
3. Better Breathing:
Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains.
5. Increased Strength:
Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe.
6. Weight Management:
Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning calories and reducing stress. Yoga also provides a heightened sense of well being and self esteem.
7. Sharper Mind:
Like Meditation, yoga keeps practitioners focused on the present moment, which opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory. Research shows that such mindfulness practices can actually create new neural pathways in the brain. Yoga helps us to become more aware and helps create mind body health.
8. Cardiovascular conditioning:
Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
9. Better Body alignment:
Yoga helps to improve body alignment, resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.
10. Improved Circulation:
Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
The body and mind are one. When the intimate relationship between mind and body is disrupted, aging and entropy accelerate. Restoring mind/body integration brings about renewal. Through conscious breathing and movement techniques, you can renew the body/mind and reverse the aging process.
Mind/body integration means listening to your body and responding with love and reverance. A body listened to answers back with energy, strength, and flexibility–the qualities of a body growing younger.
The roots of Yoga go back at least 5,000 years, a testament to its enduring value, independent of time or culture. Yoga uses conscious breathing and physical movements to bring your attention into the body and into the present moment.
Practice your poses regularly and consciously and you will see steady improvement in your flexibility and mind/body integration.
From Grow Younger, Live Longer
by Deepak Chopra