What Is Yoga and Why Is It Important In Today’s World?

One of the many things that India is known for their contribution to the world is yoga. The importance of yoga in today world has a lot of definitions floating around however if we go back to the roots of the meaning we find that yoga means to unite, Yoga helps to unite the body and mind. It is also defined as a lifestyle which aims to have a healthy mind within a healthy body.

Most simply defined, yoga is a set of asanas coupled with breathing techniques, which help impart strength and flexibility to the body while helping to balance the mind.

Unlike other physical forms of exercises, like aerobics practicing yoga one can achieve physical health as well as mental and spiritual well-being. The aim of yoga is to promote overall well-being of the body. Though it is found to be beneficial for a variety of conditions, it is not considered a therapy for a specific ailment.

Unlike other forms of exercises, yoga has a more holistic approach to teach people the right way to lead their lives disease and stress free. In today’s world, all of us suffer from stress and anxiety to perform well, leading to a multitude of diseases. Yoga aims to calm and compose our minds and helps us to focus clearly on what really matters, good health and the joy that comes with it.

Mental Health

Mental Health

Let us first begin with the benefits of Yoga on mental health. After all, good mental health is of paramount importance for being healthy physically as well. As advised above, breathing technique forms an integral part of yoga. By breathing deep when doing yoga you are inhaling more oxygen and allowing the cells of your body to have access to that oxygen for longer. A common practice in yoga is to breathe only from one nostril at a time, while holding the other one closed with the tip of your finger.

Medical research has shown that this boosts increased activity of the opposite side of the brain leading to better cognitive performance and tasks associated with the other side of the brain. Regular yoga practice helps children with attention deficit disorder and people suffering from anxiety, depression and mood swings. It also helps keep the mind calm and reduce stress, thereby increasing the general well being of the individual.

This is caused by lack of inner strength. Certain asanas of yoga help generate inner strength. Inner strength is essential in doing day to day activities and in preventing you from injuries. This is especially useful, as we grow old and need more energy and strength to do the same activity.

Flexible lady

Flexibility

The popular notion that you need to be flexible in order to do yoga is wrong, it is the other way round you need to do yoga to become more flexible. If you have a flexible body you will find it easier to do tasks. A lot of poses in Yoga concentrate on stretching and improving your flexibility.

With yoga, not only the muscles of the body, also the soft tissue of your body is stretched, resulting in less buildup of lactic acid, which is the cause of stiffness in your body. Yoga increases a range of motion of less used inner muscles helps keep the joints pliable. The results gained are a more flexible body to do daily activities.

Cardiovascular

Yoga has many positive effects on the cardiovascular system of our bodies. A healthy cardiovascular system is responsible for preventing heart attacks, strokes and hypertension. Heart disease is a problem which has roots in an improper lifestyle, faulty diet and negative thoughts.

Our thoughts, emotions and feelings affect our body and negative thoughts send a series of complex and unhealthy chemical processes throughout the body, giving alarms that something is amiss. Yoga tends to control these by bringing in fresh life giving oxygen. The antioxidant properties of Yoga help in preventing the negative emotions and promote a general well-being in the body.

Joint pain and arthritis

The general tendency of people suffering from joint pain, inflammation and stiffness is to avoid exercise. Yoga helps prevent advancement of this by toning the muscles and loosening the joints.

When a person suffering from joint pain practices yoga, the gentle stretching and strengthening movements of the various Yogic poses, improves the blood flow to the muscles and tissues supporting the joints, making it more comfortable to move.

Respiratory problems

Practice of certain asanas of Yoga has helped check chronic cases of Asthma and other respiratory problems. When then nasal passages get inflamed, they start producing mucous in excess making it difficult to breathe and often have common symptoms like coughing, wheezing etc.

Respiratory problems could also be caused by multiple factors like allergy, exercise, weather change etc. By practicing yoga, the lung’s capacity increases and so does stamina and stress on air passages is reduced.

Back pain

Back pain

Yoga has helped innumerable cases of back ache, which is caused by stress and tension in the muscles supporting the spinal cord. Back ache may be caused due to improper postures mild injuries, which have been left untreated.

Yoga has seemed to help cases of back pain by enhancing flexibility and strengthening the muscle groups supporting the spine, helping the body to maintain an upright posture. It eases the back pain by increased blood circulation and healing nutrients to the injured muscles. Apart from healing injured muscles, it also prevents further injuries by strengthening the muscles.

Memory Improvement

Memory is the measure of ability to reproduce the knowledge that is known”, says Yogacharya Vishwas.

“Memory is holding on to that which has been knownThe Hindu Texts.

Yoga helps in retaining information better and for a longer period due to its focus on concentration and meditation. By breathing right, concentrating and meditating, more blood flows to the brain, making it supple and ready to accept more information and reproduce that information when required.

 Obesity

Obesity is when a person weighs more than his normal/stipulated weight. This may be caused due to faulty eating habits, stress related eating, imbalances in the digestive and endocrine system or even something as basic as less physical exercise.

Yoga helps obesity by inhaling more oxygen, which helps in breaking down fat cells and increasing your metabolism. Also, it helps remove sluggishness from the digestive and endocrine systems, making them work better.

lady looking in mirror

Anti-Aging

Regular practice of yoga has anti aging effects. Yoga revitalizes the mind and makes the approach towards life positive and stress free. Apart from this, a person practicing yoga regularly is more flexible, fit and mentally agile. Overall happiness and positive attitude towards life reflects on the face, leaving it glowing and reverses the aging effect internally.

Conclusion

The importance of yoga in today’s world has a lot of other everyday benefits such as sound and deep sleep, high energy levels. However, the key to deriving these benefits is to be consistent with Yogic practices and do it under the supervision of a well-trained Yoga Instructor.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.

I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.

Namaste Shane

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.

2 thoughts on “What Is Yoga and Why Is It Important In Today’s World?”

  1. Growing up, as a teenager, I never understood why people were so into this practice and what they were getting. Now that I’m an adult in my mind-twenties while dealing with my mental health I found that meditation and yoga were quite crucial for my lifestyle and the process of healing that was waiting for me at the other side of the road. As you said, yoga is not just meditation and calmness but it truly is a lifestyle. 

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, 

      Thank you for reading my post.

      I too would have not understood the appeal of yoga until I experienced first hand. 

      All the best to you, keep up the yoga practice for your own well being.

      Namaste Shane.

      Reply

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