Support Your Inner Healer – Your Mind and Body on Yoga
Yoga was created in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. It originates from India’s ancient religious texts that were created by the Vedas. “Yoga” is a Sanskrit word meaning to join or concentrate.
There is a lot of different types – Ashtanga, Bikram, Viniyoga and Yin yoga are just some examples. Yoga follows the same basics, focusing on doing different body postures while also focusing on your breathing. In each type, there can be various elements to it. Some are more focused on relaxation while others are more vigorous. Some involve meditation, music or even heating.
Chakras are usually talked about a lot when on the topic of Yoga. When chakras get blocked, it can cause mental, physical and emotional problems. Doing Yoga helps to cleanse and clear out those imbalanced chakras, so you feel better.
Yoga is an excellent mind-body therapy. It allows you to be more in tune with yourself, brings your mind to the present moment and lets you focus on what you really need while also improving your attitude. It is proven to help with anxiety and depression and can bring you into a more calm, positive state of mind. Your brain has a bunch of receptors in it. The GABA receptors are linked to mood and anxiety disorders. If you have low GABA activity, then you will have anxiety and mood problems. Yoga boosts GABA levels. They did research at Boston University as well as the University of Utah with results showing GABA activity grew 27% after an hour of yoga.
When you step onto the mat and begin your yoga experience, you find yourself becoming comfortable and aware inside of your body. Breathing deeply while you stretch helps you to let go of things that you have been holding onto. It also cleanses your mind of negativity and stress making you feel relaxed. Increasing your physical flexibility helps your mind become more flexible too.
By practicing yoga, you become very bodily aware of yourself and others. You notice their body language and moods more which helps us to make more connections. Being bodily aware creates a strong sense of balance with your inner and outer self. It makes you feel more responsible, caring, sharing, loving and happy because you are more one with yourself.
As well as helping with your mental health, yoga also helps with your physical health! If you do the more vigorous types of yoga, it can have the same effects as if you were doing strenuous activity.
Doing yoga in the morning can help you feel more rested and energized, so you are ready for the day. If you do yoga and mainly focus on the relaxation piece of it, then you will probably not gain much muscle or strength but if you do the different postures and poses to your best ability you also improve your balance, power, and flexibility.
Yoga also helps decrease blood pressure and inflammation. People who have unhealthy lifestyles have higher levels of inflammation. Having lots of inflammation can cause diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Mind-body therapies like yoga have been good at reducing inflammation. A 2014 meta-analysis on the effects of mind-body therapies on the immune system found that yoga reduces inflammation-based blood markers. Michael Irwin at UCLA’s medical school, said, “When you look at the aerobic exercise necessary to decrease inflammation, people have to maintain very vigorous levels.” But not with yoga, he continued. “Even practices with minimum levels of physical activity can have large effect sizes.”
How to Started with Yoga
If you are interested in doing yoga but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips to begin your practice.
Find out if there are any classes near you, most places have yoga classes that anyone at any level can take. If you do not have access to a yoga center for whatever reason, hop on YouTube where you can watch videos that go through different yoga poses just like a class would.
If you are just beginning, make sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of yoga so you can take a more simple form, like Hatha Yoga for instance. Also, familiarize yourself with some of the beginner yoga poses either from pictures or videos. It will make the class more appropriate for a beginner and allow you to relax more.
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