Monday, March 4, 2024

International Yoga Day: The science and benefits of Yoga practice

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Yoga is a broad discipline that includes a variety of practises such as physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and moral guidelines. People can have a feeling of general well-being that encompasses their physical, mental, and emotional health by engaging in these practices. Siddhaa Akshar, yoga and spiritual leader of Akshar Yoga Institutions takes us through how yoga encourages this sense of total wellbeing.

Flexibility: Asanas, or yoga poses, extend and stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These positions gradually enhance flexibility with regular practice. Practising yoga can increase flexibility in the following ways:

A lot of yoga positions require deep stretching, which over time helps to lengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. The regulated nature of these stretches enables the body to progressively move into deeper postures.

Muscle building: Major muscle groups are the focus of yoga, including the hamstrings, hips, shoulders, and back. Regular practice aids in the release of tight and tense muscles, increasing flexibility in these regions.

Balance and stability: Yoga positions frequently call for balance and stability, which call for the simultaneous use of several muscle groups. Increased flexibility is a result of these muscles being activated and strengthened. Mindful movement: Yoga places a strong emphasis on mindful movement, which involves being fully present with your body as you move through each position. This method teaches practitioners to pay attention to their bodies and stay within their range of motion in order to increase flexibility safely and gradually.

Strength: Although yoga is frequently linked with flexibility, it also has a lot to offer in terms of building strength. Different muscle groups are engaged and strengthened during yoga postures, which helps to increase total body strength.

Different ways that yoga builds strength:

Bodyweight resistance: The weight of the practitioner is used as resistance in certain yoga positions. Engaging all of the body’s muscles — including the core, arms, legs, and back — is necessary to maintain positions like plank, chaturanga, or the warrior series. These positions gradually increase your strength and stamina.

Strength that is useful for daily activities: Yoga focuses on functional movements that increase strength and stability. The muscles required for balance, coordination, and mobility get stronger during posture transitions as well as in weight-bearing poses like chair pose and tree pose.

Isometric contractions: Isometric contractions, which entail contracting a muscle without increasing its length, are a part of yoga. Isometric contractions are necessary to maintain positions like Warrior II or Bridge pose, which assist build muscular strength.

Core strength: Many yoga postures work the deep abdominal muscles and the muscles in the lower back to engage and develop the core muscles. For maintaining appropriate posture, stability, and general strength, a strong core is necessary. Yoga promotes a balanced approach to strength development by working all the major muscle groups. This harmony lowers the chance of accidents, prevents muscular imbalances, and boosts total functional strength.

Injury prevention: Injury prevention is aided by the increased flexibility and strength gained via yoga practice. Greater range of motion is made possible by improved flexibility, which lowers the chance of strains and sprains. By supporting and stabilising joints, stronger muscles assist lower the risk of injury when engaging in physical activity.

Overall well-being: Yoga increases flexibility and strength, which offer both physical and psychological advantages. Flexibility can help with movement, posture, and reducing muscular strain. Greater strength encourages better body mechanics, which enhances everyday performance and lowers the chance of muscle imbalances and accidents.

Yoga eliminates stress: Another important part of general wellness is stress reduction, which yoga tackles through deep breathing exercises and relaxation methods. By producing a sense of tranquility and decreasing blood pressure, these techniques trigger the body’s relaxation response. Individuals may let go of fears and anxieties during yoga sessions by establishing mindful awareness and the present moment focus, which lowers stress levels.

Find emotional balance: Yoga fosters emotional equilibrium by increasing self-reflection and introspection, which is strongly related to overall wellbeing. People get a better comprehension of their emotions via the practice of meditation and mindfulness. Improved emotional control, inner tranquility, and happiness result from their ability to notice their thoughts and sensations without passing judgement.

Create a relationship with self: Yoga emphasises the mind-body connection because it understands how closely connected the two are. People are taught to be totally present and pay attention to their bodies’ sensations while they adopt physical postures. The mind-body link is strengthened as a result of cultivating heightened bodily awareness. Individuals may have more body confidence, a better understanding of their bodies, and a better body image by forging this relationship.

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