The Many Benefits of Yoga

The Many Benefits of Yoga

I started my career in (human) massage and bodywork following a severe back injury that left me wheelchair bound, a functional "quad" due to nerve damage. Conventional medicine was unable to achieve much improvement, and I turned to alternative medicine, including Yoga, to help me return to good health. The foundations of Yoga go back thousands of years and when done properly, Yoga strengthens the mind/body connection, bringing you to new levels of body awareness and consciousness. As effective today as it was centuries ago, Yoga helps us deal with the increasing stressors in today’s world, finding peace within ourselves. Yoga does more than increasing flexibility and range of motion, Yoga provides physiological, psychological and biomechanical benefits and can be adapted to anyone regardless of age or physical ability.

Physiological Benefits of Yoga include:

  • Yoga calms you:
    • Yoga stabilizes the autonomic nervous system, increasing the dominance of the parasympathetic nervous system.
    • Yoga decreases pulse and respiratory rates
    • Yoga decreases blood pressure
    • Yoga increases the activity of the brain’s alpha waves
  • Yoga helps increase cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency
  • Yoga helps normalize gastrointestinal and hormonal function
  • Yoga helps improve posture
  • Yoga improves strength and resiliency
  • Yoga increases endurance and energy levels
  • Yoga helps normalize weight
  • Yoga improves sleep
  • Yoga improves immunity
  • Yoga helps decrease pain levels
Psychological Benefits of Yoga include:
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increases—better body awareness
  • Improved mood and increased feelings of well-being
  • Self-acceptance and self-actualization improves
  • Social adjustment improves
  • Anxiety and depression decrease
  • Hostility decreases
Psychomotor Functions Improved with Yoga:
  • Grip strength increases
  • Improved dexterity and fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination improves
  • Improved reaction time
  • Improved steadiness
  • Improved depth perception
  • Improved balance
  • Improves integrated functioning of body parts
Yoga Improves Cognitive Function:
  • Improves attention, concentration and memory
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Depth perception improves
Biochemical Effects of Yoga include:
  • Decreased blood glucose (sugar) levels
  • Decreased sodium levels
  • Decrease in total cholesterol levels
  • Decrease in triglycerides (stored fat deposits)
  • HDL (good) cholesterol increases
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol decreases
  • Improved neurotransmitter function
  • Lymphocyte count increases (improved immune system functioning)
  • Total white blood cell count increases (improved ability to fight infection)
  • Vitamin C increases
  • Oxygen levels in the brain increase
What does all this mean? Yoga improves the functioning of both the body and the mind, increases health and immunity, helps delay the effects of aging, and helps control weight. It only takes a few minutes a day to benefit from Yoga.  Yoga can be done in the morning, at your desk, or while watching TV in the evening.  What’s stopping you from participating in all the benefits of Yoga?

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