Yoga exercises and techniques have many benefits, and practitioners often talk about the unification of body, mind and spirit achieved through yoga. The belief that the mind and body are a unified structure is fundamental to yoga, and leads on to the belief that when the body is in harmony, healing can be achieved. These principles, and the many positive results obtained by yoga enthusiasts over the years, has led many doctors to believe that yoga has therapeutic results. Some even recommend it to help cure various illnesses, particularly those related to the nervous system.
Many new age therapies have sprung up in recent years, but yoga is not one of them. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and in that time countless numbers of people have benefited from the positive results. A great deal of research has been done into the benefits that can be gained from yoga if it’s practiced for an extended period. The benefits of yoga have been classified into three main categories, which are: physiological, psychological and biochemical. Yoga practitioners have regularly observed improvements in all three areas.
On the physiological level, practicing yoga for a prolonged period can assist with:
Decreasing pulse rate
Improving respiratory and blood pressure dysfunctions
Normalizing endocrine and gastrointestinal function
Stabilizing and maintaining the equilibrium of the nervous system
Increasing joint movement
Improved energy levels
Increasing cardiovascular efficiency
Improved immunity to illness
Improved eye-hand coordination
Improved depth perception
Better reaction times
Psychological benefits have been shown to include:
Increased kinesthetic and somatic awareness
Improved social skills
Higher self-acceptance and self-actualization
Improved concentration, attention and memory
Heightened sense of well being
When to comes to the biochemical benefits, there are instances of substantial decreases in:
and increases in:
Total serum protein
Yoga has also been shown to be highly effective for musco-skeletal issues, including improved joint flexibility, and better lubrication of joints, tendons and ligaments. Another demonstrated effect of yoga is that benefits are gained from the apparent massaging of all the internal organs and glands that occurs during yoga. Some of these would normally never be stimulated, for example, the prostate. This massaging and stimulation has proven to be beneficial in preventing the onset of disease in these organs.
An overall benefit of yoga is the complete detoxification that occurs when these efficient ancient techniques are used for a prolonged period. Yoga exercises stretch the muscles and thoroughly massage the body, ensuring you establish an optimum quantity of blood supply. This eliminates toxins from the body, which helps to slow or even stop certain undesired processes, including aging.
All these physical benefits are a wonderful result when practicing yoga, but there’s one overriding benefit that is the main reason people continue practicing yoga for years – the harmony and synchronization of body and mind, coupled with the strengthening of your emotional and meditation systems.