What is Yoga?
The word Yoga means 'Union' we can think of this union occurring between body mind and spirit bringing balance to our lives. Yoga is a scientific system of physical and mental practices that originated from India more than 3000 years ago. There are many styles and schools of Yoga. In the west we hear mainly of Hatha Yoga this simply translates as ha - Sun, tha - Moon this represents opposite polarities which join in the union of Yoga.
One of the reasons Yoga has grown dramatically in popularity is that it makes you feel harmonious integrated and complete. The Human body was designed to move freely after practicing Yoga one has a sense of standing taller and feeling freer.
"Life requires that one keeps oneself as fluid and flexible as possible. One should not stay still for too long, nor should one exhaust oneself by trying to perform impossible tasks. One should learn to exercise from nature by observing the fact that flowing water never stagnates and a busy door with active hinges never rusts or rots. Why? Because they exercise themselves perpetually and are almost always moving" Sun SSu - Mo
Yoga Asanas are Postures that rebalance the body. They bring strength to the weak areas of the body and they bring softness to the tight spots. Not only do they create space in the physical body, they offer a sense of inner spaciousness also.
Conditions Treated by Yoga Therapy include...
Asthma, hypertension, back pain, arthritis, hyperacidity, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, migraines and headaches, MS, depression, insomnia, anxiety, panic disorders. Helps cancer patients cope with therapy , rehabilitation from surgery and anxiety and stress of a serious illness.
Specific Health Benefits of Yoga
- Stables autonomic nervous system creating equilibrium
- Cardiovascular efficiency increases
- Respiratory efficiency increases
- Gastrointestinal function normalises
- Endocrine system is stimulated
- Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
- Grip strength increases
- Dexterity skill improve
- Reaction time improves
- Posture improves
- Strength and resiliency increases
- Endurance and energy levels increase
- Weight normalises
- Sleep improves
- Immunity increases
- Pain decreases
- Balancing and steadiness improves
Psychological Benefits of Yoga
- Anxiety and depression decreases
- Relieves insomnia
- Memory improves
- Well being increases
- Attention improves
- Self acceptance increases
- Concentration improves
- Mood improves
- Ability to cope with the world and situations increases
Yoga and Sport
Yoga Sport Science is growing fast amongst athletes and other sports people who endorse Yoga to be beneficial to training and preventing injury.
The Great Britain Hockey Team have been practicing Yoga as part of their training for the last 12 months and are enjoying massive benefits including gains in performance and less injury.
Sheffield based Diving Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor was recently interviewed by Yoga and Health Magazine triumphing Yoga in his recovery from serious injury. The Footballer Ryan Giggs is quoted from a recent T.V. interview " My regular practice of Yoga I believe has increased my longevity in Football "
Yoga for Back and Joint Pain
Regular practice of Yoga will improve muscular balance and joint health. The graduated system of postures, breathing and relaxation is useful for patients who present with painful joints and muscular imbalance due to over use and repetitive strain. The yoga exercises systematically train the muscles of the whole body.
Poor posture and bad habits in movement place undue pressure on the spine. The resulting muscular tension is the frequent cause of back pain, which may radiate to other areas of the body, such as head , neck, arms and legs. Each Yoga posture generally involves some part of the spine in the exercise. Those that include gentle twisting of the spine specifically relax the deep layers of muscles in the back. Theses muscles connect individual vertebrae along the spine and are very much inclined to hold tension.
Regular practice of Yoga reduces symptoms of spine and joint problems after just a few weeks. Practice of postures provides necessary range of movement to maintain proper health of muscles, ligaments, cartilage and joint capsule which is essential for their function. Yoga enhances the production of joint fluid, nourishing the joints, cartilage and discs preserving flexibility and mobility.