Health Benefits of Yoga

Tuesday 20 May admin

Many studies have been published that praise the health benefits of yoga, and it is often claimed to provide relief from various disorders, conditions, and general aches and pains.

Iyengar Yoga is one form of hatha yoga that is particularly accessible to those in later life, due to its incorporation of props - such as blankets, chairs, foam blocks, straps and ropes – in order to assist poses. This aspect of the practice also allows those who are less flexible to develop the correct posture when performing poses, regardless of their ability or athleticism, as well as allowing people to adjust the degree of rigorousness of their poses and adapt them to health disorders and conditions. As a result of this, practicing yoga is especially beneficial for those suffering from arthritis, as it is a safe and relatively gentle way to gradually develop the flexibility and strength of joints and muscles over time.

Yoga is said to slow the physical signs and some of the side effects of aging. Inversions - in the form of head-stands and shoulder-stands - and to some extent, forward bends - such as the ‘downward facing dog’ and the ‘happy baby’ poses – offset the effects of gravity on the body. This not only improves blood flow but preserves mental acuity through calming the mind, in addition to countering age related effects on the skin, such as sagging and the formation of wrinkles.

Due to improvements to blood circulation and the lymphatic system, yoga is particularly beneficial for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Practicing yoga also helps those suffering from digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, and nervous disorders, and provides relief from headaches and migraines.

Finally, perhaps the most recognised benefit attributed to yoga is an improved state of mind and mental wellbeing, fighting depression and reducing stress and anxiety. It has also been claimed that exercise programs involving yoga may help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, helping sufferers perform their daily activities, in addition to generally improving memory and concentration. The mental benefits of yoga has led to its usage in MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) programs, which have proven to be popular ways of reducing stress and improving quality of life in the USA.