Hidden Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient way, practiced for thousands of years, steeped in tradition and, to most of the people, a mysterious enigma. When people would speak of the many benefits of yoga they had experienced in both mental and physical health, yoga would seem to be both a perfect practice and one whose claims were impossible to believe. Most of the practitioners of yoga, or yogis or yogins or yogini for the ladies; would speak of the unification of mind, spirit, and body. The belief was that when these were brought into balance the mental and physical health of the people would improve.

The word harmony would be heard a lot, as would be healing, and also applied both to the body and the mind. Until recently, people could only go by what someone who had personal experience could tell them. There was a reasonable amount of skepticism that yoga could actually be as beneficial to the mental and physical health as its proponents claimed. However, in the last few years, observation, scientific study, and measurement have proven that yoga can indeed have specific observable affects on the health. It has been shown that body, mind, and spirit do work together and when the effective level of each is raised, the people experiences a much better life in terms of happiness, health, and harmony within himself or herself and with the world in general.

In the modern society, people are likely to look at yoga first as an exercise program. As with any good exercise program, yoga can increase muscle strength and respiratory endurance, improve flexibility, and promote physical balance. Yoga also tends to lessen pain in those afflicted with arthritis and helps to increase energy levels in those who practice it. Yogis and yogins also have long reported increases in what might be called positive mental states, along with effective decreases in negative mental states. They tend to report a greater level of optimism, a renewed or improved enthusiasm for life, and a higher sense of awareness and alertness of themselves and the world and people around them. People who practice yoga have also reported decreased levels of aggressiveness, anxiety, and excitability, as well as lowered levels of physical complaints and illnesses.

Scientific observation and testing is now bearing out what people have been saying for years. Studies on the psychological, biological, and biochemical aspects of yoga have shown a wide range of positive results for most who take up the practice of yoga. When practiced over time, yoga tends to stabilize the nervous system, level pulse rate, normalize stomach and digestive activity, level hormones, and increase joint range of motion. Yoga can also increase energy, immunity, endurance, and cardiovascular efficiency. It improves eye-hand coordination, dexterity, reaction time, and helps the person to get more restful and restorative sleep.

The practitioners of yoga and those who study them report that it helps them to become more aware of their body accept themselves more readily; improve their concentration, memory, learning and mood. Additional benefits of yoga as compared to other work out programs are that it massages internal organs in a way that other programs do not, and produces a detoxifying effect. Some people speculate that this may lead to delaying aging.