The origins of Yoga are about 5000 years old and based on Far Eastern spiritual practices designed to realize ones own Divine Nature. In the western world today it is mostly seen as a form of exercise, although all forms of Yoga are still based in the three traditional techniques of Eastern Yoga.
These three fundamentals benefits of Yoga are the Asanas (Sanskrit for Postures), the Pranyama (the Sanskrit for breathing or breath control) and meditation. The effects of Yoga increases the strength of your muscles, your flexibility, helps you relax and calm yourself and center your thought.
Different Types Of Yoga:
This form of Yoga focuses on achieving unification or oneness known as Samadhi through the ahstangas of Yoga, Yama, and Niyama.
Anyone competent enough to achieve the goal of Samahdi through this method is believed to be a Raja the King of Yoga.
A most famous example is Swami Vivekananda.
Bhakthi Yoga: In Bhakthi yoga a person seeks to reach the ultimate state of oneness or atonement through the sheer power of devotion and faith.
Bhakthi does not concentrate on the traditional methods of pranyama, yogasnas or mudra, and instead preaches attention to a loving god.
Unquestioning devotion to god’s will and a sharing of gods love towards humanity.
In 1986 Sharon Gannon and David Life developed the Jivamukti Yoga method because they believed that traditional western Yoga practices focused only on the physical aspects of Eastern Yoga and not the spiritual.
This discipline is a preparatory one for entering a state of meditation.
Gentle postures, correct body alignment and focus on breathing are all used towards the end of preparing the Yogi for a meditative state.
The Effects Of yoga:
There are a number of different paths that are intended to lead a person to a higher state or realization of Moksha (the oneness with ultimate reality).
It refers to a gradual ‘yoking of the self’.
Through strong spiritual discipline so that each subsequent session of Yoga brings one a little closer to a full state of acceptance of themselves and their place in the universe.
The ego is seen as an aspect which limits our ability to accept our place in the universe and something which is gradually toned down.
The traditional yoga Margas, or path to salvation, would involve a long and dedicated apprenticeship to a Yoga Guru.
The Benefits Of Yoga:
Yoga has a number of specific benefits.
One of the most well-known and commented on is an increased level of flexibility.
Yoga will work through all the muscle groups and grant increased range of motion through the attention it plays to some muscle groups which are often overlooked by other exercise programs.
Yoga also works the internal glands and body organs in a thorough manner.
This is a very impressive ability when we consider that Yoga can act on glands and organs such as the prostate which are unlikely to receive any regular external stimulation.
Another advantage of yoga is a toning of the muscles.
Excess flabbiness is shed from muscles which have become flaccid and weak.
The circulation is greatly improved by the poses of Yoga which will assist the body by clearing knots and blockages.
This, combined with the valuable skill of learning to breath properly result in an increased flow of blood to the vital organs and about the body.
How Yoga Benefits the Circulatory System:
The circulatory system is an essential part of what keeps us going.
It is also referred to as the cardio-vascular system and consists of the heart and the blood vessels.
The hearts job is to pump blood to different parts of the body and this blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen to the different organs.
The heart is divided into four compartments that each have a different role.
The compartment on the upper right is responsible for collecting the incoming impure blood from all over the body and moving it on to the lower right compartment.
The lower right compartment sends the blood on to the lungs for purification.
The purified blood is then returned to the heart – this time in the upper left ventricle from where it is moved into the lower left compartment and then back out as fresh, pure blood to the remainder of the body.
The blood is primarily carries through main arteries that are thick tube like structures leading from the heart around the body.
The arteries branch into many sub arteries which in turn will divide into thin-walled capillaries.
The capillaries interact with the organs directly and due to their thin walls they pass oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues that need them the most.
The used resources are ejected from the tissue and back into the capillaries to be fed on through specialized veins to return the impure blood back to the heart to start the entire process once more.
This is a difficult job as the pressure has decreased this far from the heart so the veins are assisted by valves to regulate the flow.
The Lymphatic System:
The important thing to understand about the way the circulatory system is set up is that it has two main parts, the blood system and the lymphatic system.
It is the job of the lymphatic system to remove waste from the circulatory system.
The two different systems run almost side by side but while the blood system has a pump – the heart – the lymphatic system does not have a single organ designed to power its operations.
This job falls to the muscles, which pump the lymphatic system by contracting and expanding. This is of course where Yoga comes in.
Body and Mind:
Yoga is a discipline unique in its combination of focus on body, mind and spirit.
The body component is taken care of with a series of poses and postures, which are designed to clear blockages in the circulatory system and ensure that everything is flowing as it should at an even regular rate.
It also flexes the muscles and strengthens them very efficiently over time with a minimal amount of ‘grunt’.
This strengthening and constant working of these muscles pumps the lymphatic system and makes out body many times more efficient at the removal of waste matter.
As a result people who practice Yoga regularly can expect that they will have a greatly enhanced immune response system and be able to deal with infection and disease better than their non-Yogi counterparts.
The Benefits Of Proper Breathing:
Furthermore, the benefits start before this.
Yoga sessions will usually begin with a series of standing exercises emphasizing long slow breathing exercises.
These breathing exercises are common to all forms of yoga and force us to concentrate on our breath and it’s pathway trough the body each time we take a fresh breath.
The exercises are designed especially so that people are not restricted in where and when they can practice them and ideally would use them instead of our slower shallower normal breathing pattern.
Because the breaths are longer and deeper the oxygen intake is increased.
Combined with the enhancing effects that the exercises have on the regularity of circulation in the blood system the oxygen is much more efficiently transported to the muscles of the body.
If these muscles, along with our other organs and tissues are not receiving the oxygen and nutrients we need then we starve them and become ill as a result.
As you can see Yoga is of great assistance to the complex and interlocking system of circulation.
It recognizes the basis and importance of the system and helps to begin it back into balance.
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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet