23 Fascinating Facts About Yoga

yoga

msn health & fitness

The world celebrated the first International Day of Yoga on June 21, click through to know why yoga has become such a rage and how can it benefit a practitioner—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

Couple meditating together in cabana overlooking ocean

HOLISTIC HEALTH

Yoga is not just about doing a few joint, muscle or stretching exercises every day. It is a combination of three things: different postures, breathing patterns and meditation.

 

 

De-stressed

DE-STRESS

A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to relax the body and mind. It releases the tension accumulated in the muscles and pacifies the mind.

 

yoga

HEALTHY JOINTS

Yoga exercises not only keep the joints healthy, but also bring relief to people suffering from arthritis. Keep in mind that exercises recommended vary from person to person according to physical.

 

Yoga Chakra

YOGA CHAKRAS

There are eight energy centers or “chakras” in the body through which humans absorb cosmic energy. Yoga can purify these and keep the positive life energy flowing. From the base of the spine up to the crown, these chakras are named mooladhara, svadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddha, anja, bindu, and sahasrara, respectively.

 

 

 

Cancer patients go through laughter yoga treatment, a breathing exercise that stimulates voluntary laughing at Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila September 6, 2013. Practitioners of laughter yoga claim it can help relieve stress, strengthen the immune system and promote a positive outlook in life.

BOOSTS IMMUNITY

According to a Norwegian study, yoga boosts the immune system on a genetic level.

 

Businesswoman taking cashews from breakfast buffet

MINDFUL EATING

Regular practice of yoga can reduce craving for food and subsequently, the habit of overeating. A University of Washington study claims that this happens because yoga increases the awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.

 

Yoga

BETTER RELATIONSHIPS

Practicing yoga has proved to improve relationships. A relaxed, happy and contented mind is better equipped to deal with relationships of every kind—official or personal.

 

 

yoga

 

HAPPY HEART

Yoga improves cardiovascular health, which reduces the risk of heart diseases. People suffering from heart ailments, however, should be careful about the type of exercises they take up, and these should be performed under the supervision of a yoga instructor.
Mahny Djanhanguiri with Doggy Yoga Class

DOGA

Started in New York in 2002, it is a type of yoga by which people establish harmony with their pet dogs. The pets are either used as props for their owners or they can do light stretching exercises themselves.

 

Yoga class

LOSE THE FLAB

Yoga is an ideal and risk-free way for losing those extra pounds. Sun salutations (surya namaskar) and kapalbhati pranayama are especially effective to this end.

 

Smiling women talking in exercise class

MIND BOOSTER

A 2013 study claims that yoga therapy could benefit people living with depression, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions. Other research has demonstrated the efficacy of yoga as an add-on therapy to improve withdrawal symptoms and social cognition.

 

YOGA CONDITIONING

HELPFUL IN OCD

A study at the Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, has shown that people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder saw a significant reduction in symptoms if they practiced Kundalini yoga regularly.

 

Father and Infant Daughter Sleeping

SOUND SLEEP

Regular yoga is a good antidote to sleep disorders. A Harvard Medical School study found that eight weeks of daily yoga practice improved the quality of sleep in many people suffering from insomnia.

 

Couple lays down laughing in bed

SEX LIFE

As yoga exercises involve controlling muscle movements and stretching the body, the postures rush more blood to different organs. This results in improved sexual performance and confidence in both men and women.

 

Migrane

RELIEF FROM MIGRAINE

Yoga can bring relief to people suffering from migraine. A book, “The Migraine Solution,” co-authored by Dr. Paul B. Rizzoli and published by Harvard Health Publications, claims that affected people had fewer and less painful migraines after three months of practicing yoga.

 

yoga

NO MORE PAIN

In a study published in the “Journal of Research in Health Science” in 2006, Iranian researchers found that three specific yoga postures—cobra, cat and fish—can reduce menstruation cramps.

 

Caucasian woman with yoga mat drinking water

ENDOCRINE FUNCTIONS

Yoga exercises stimulate regular secretion of hormones from the endocrine glands, thus promoting overall physical and emotional health.

 

Fertility booster

FERTILITY BOOSTER

As yoga’s effect in de-stressing the body and improving endocrine activity of ovaries and testes are proven, many doctors recommend the exercises to couples who are trying for a baby.

 

Energizing body

ANTI-AGING

By strengthening the core, toning the muscles, improving cardiovascular functioning, helping in secretion of hormones and flushing out toxins from the body, regular yoga practice has immense anti-aging benefits.

 

Hangover

HANGOVER

Beat that hangover from last night’s drinking binge with yoga. Certain postures, like fish, shoulder stand and plow, work on the thyroid gland and helps get rid of the hangover faster.

 

Lord Shiva

MYTHOLOGY

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is considered to be the Adi Guru or the first teacher of yoga.

 

The site, discovered in 1945, is the remains of a city of the Indus Valley civilization dating from 2400 to 1900 B.C.

INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose—giving rise to speculation that the practice might have started during those early times. (Pictured) A photograph of the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization taken in 1960.

 

Henry David Thoreau

HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was one of the early known practitioners of yoga in the West. His interest in yoga sparked after coming across a Hindu text known as “Manusmirti.” In a letter written to a friend in 1849, Thoreau called himself a “yogi.”

 

 

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