Health Benefits of Yoga

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Health benefits of yoga include Spiritual benefits

There are many health benefits of yoga. Yoga through meditation works remarkably well to achieve total harmony and helps the mind work in synchronization with the body. How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a satisfying manner because the confusion and conflict in our minds distract us and keep us from being able to focus 100%?

Stress is suspected to be the number one culprit negatively affecting all of our physical, endocrine and emotional systems. With the help of yoga, we can alter that and become more calm, focused, and serene, as well as improving our overall well-being.

At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders.

Listed below are some of the physiological, psychological and biochemical health benefits of yoga that you can get.

Physiological Benefits of Yoga:

  1. Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium, with a tendency toward parasympathetic nervous system dominance rather than the usual stress-induced sympathetic Nervous system dominance
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    Yoga at the beach!

  3. Pulse rate decreases
  4. Respiratory rate decreases
  5. Blood pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
  6. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
  7. EEG – alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
  8. EMG activity decreases
  9. Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  10. Respiratory efficiency increases
  11. Gastrointestinal function normalizes
  12. Endocrine function normalizes
  13. Excretory functions improve
  14. Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  15. Breath-holding time increases
  16. Joint range of motion increase
  17. Grip strength increases
  18. Eye-hand coordination improves
  19. Dexterity skills improve
  20. Reaction time improves
  21. Posture improves
  22. Strength and resiliency increase
  23. Endurance increases
  24. Energy level increases
  25. Weight normalizes
  26. Sleep improves
  27. Immunity increases
  28. Pain decreases
  29. Steadiness improves
  30. Depth perception improves
  31. Balance improves
  32. Integrated functioning of body parts improve

 

Psychological Benefits of Yoga

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    Why not in the desert?

  1. Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  2. Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
  3. Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
  4. Social adjustment increases
  5. Anxiety and Depression decrease
  6. Hostility decreases
  7. Concentration improves
  8. Memory improves
  9. Attention improves
  10. Learning efficiency improves
  11. Mood improves
  12. Self-actualization increase
  13. Social skills increases
  14. Well-being increases
  15. Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  16. Self-acceptance increase
  17. Attention improves
  18. Concentration improves
  19. Memory improves
  20. Learning efficiency improves
  21. Symbol coding improves
  22. Depth perception improves
  23. Flicker fusion frequency improves
  24. Psychomotor functions improve:
    o Grip strength increases
    o Dexterity and fine skills improve
    o Eye-hand coordination improves
    o Choice reaction time improves
    o Steadiness improves
    o Depth perception improves
    o Balance improves
    o Integrated functioning of body parts improves
  25. Cognitive function improves:
    o Attention improves
    o Concentration improves
    o Memory improves
    o Learning efficiency improves
    o Symbol coding improves
    o Depth perception improves
    o Flicker fusion frequency improve

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga

  1. Glucose decreases
  2. Sodium decreases
  3. Total cholesterol decreases
  4. Triglycerides decrease
  5. HDL cholesterol increases
  6. LDL cholesterol decreases
  7. VLDL cholesterol decreases
  8. Cholinesterase increases
  9. Catecholamines decrease
  10. ATPase increases
  11. Hematocrit increases
  12. Hemoglobin increases
  13. Lymphocyte count increases
  14. Total white blood cell count decreases
  15. Thyroxin increases
  16. Vitamin C increases
  17. Total serum protein increases

 

In comparison to regular exercise, it helps the parasympathetic nervous system to dominate, while the sympathetic nervous system dominates in regular exercise. The sub-cortical regions of the brain dominate for yoga practitioners, while with regular exercise, the cortical regions of the brain dominate. With yoga, the movements are slow and static, while regular exercise promotes rapid forceful movements. With yoga, muscle tone is normalized, not tense as with regular exercise, there is a low risk of injury to muscles and ligaments, their is a low caloric need, and effort is minimized. Regular exercise creates high muscle tension, has a high risk of injury, a moderate to high caloric intake requirements, and efforts are maximized.

Yoga is also energizing, where breathing is natural or controlled, it balances activity of opposing muscle groups, is non-competitive and process oriented, focus is on internal awareness, and the possibilities for growth in self-awareness are limitless. Regular exercise on the other hand if tiring or fatiguing, activities of opposing muscle groups are imbalanced, it is, or can be highly competitive, the awareness factor is always external, how much weight, how much time, or how many reps or laps, and it tends to get boring after a short amount of time.

This in turn creates a remarkable calmness and a positive outlook, which also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body. We hope that the health benefits of yoga truly helps you in your quest for better well-being!

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