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10 Health Benefits of Yoga Supported By Science

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Ever wondered what yoga does apart from making you touch your toes? Besides spiritual learning, modern science has also accepted the magical health benefits of yoga in the modern era. Yoga – derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj meaning ‘union’ is an ancient practice that is highly restorative and therapeutic for your body. It is rooted in the sacred land of India. It began as a spiritual practice in the beginning, but today, it is widely known for promoting mental and physical well-being.

Here are ten health benefits of yoga supported by science in the modern era:

1. Natural stress buster

Stress exhibits itself in many ways including physically, emotionally, and mentally but thank goodness yoga can ease us from stress and enhance relaxation. 

A study has shown that the regular practice of yoga can eliminate the secretion of cortisol – the primary stress hormone. The study was conducted on 24 emotionally distressed women. They were sent to a 3 month long yoga program. It was observed that after 3 months their cortisol levels dropped significantly. They also had a lower level of anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue.

Yoga is highly beneficial in improving the quality of mental health and life. When you practice alone or along with other methods like meditation, it can be a helpful way to keep stress in check. It helps in the secretion of endorphins known as a natural stress and pain fighter. This hormone acts as a drug called codeine and morphine to help you feel relaxed.

2. Get rid of anxiety

Anxiety attacks are described as immediately escalating and unbearable. You can have anxiety attacks whenever you feel stressed with an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, you can feel  anxious because of mental and physical issues also. Anxiety attacks are characterized by shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, muscle spasms, shaking, fatigue, and weakness.

Yoga is known as the best way to cope with the feeling of anxiety. It is interesting to know that research proves that yoga helps in reducing anxiety. It is not completely clear how yoga cures anxiety, however, yoga highlights the necessity of being present in the moment, finding a sense of peace, and helps in treating anxiety.

3. Reduced inflammation

The regular practice of yoga improves mental health and cures chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a general immune response, but severe inflammation can add to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.

A study was done on 218 participants by dividing them into two groups. Both groups participated in strenuous and moderate exercises for inducing stress. The group who practiced yoga had a lower level of inflammatory elements than those who didn’t. Yoga helps protect you from certain diseases caused by inflammation. The advantageous effects of yoga on inflammation are still needed to be confirmed.

“Yoga begins with listening. When we listen, we are giving space to what is.” – Richard Freeman

4. Improved heart health

The health of our heart is crucial for maintaining normal functions like supplying tissues with necessary nutrients and pumping blood regularly to all the organs. Studies prove that practicing yoga regularly improves heart health and lowers the risk of heart diseases. 

A study was done on people aged over 40 years. They practiced yoga for 5 years. Results showed that they had a lower pulse rate and blood pressure than those who didn’t practice yoga. Many types of research also state that having a healthy lifestyle with yoga slows down the progression of heart diseases.

5. Quality of life

Yoga has become a general adjunct therapy for improving the quality of life for numerous individuals. A study was performed on 135 seniors. It showed that practicing yoga improves their quality of life and mood. Yoga also helps in reducing the symptoms of cancer and the effects of chemotherapy, such as vomiting and nausea. 

Another study states that yoga improves the quality of sleep, improves social functions, enhances spiritual well-being, and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety in cancer patients.

6. Yoga fights with depression

Yoga has antidepressant effects and helps in reducing the level of cortisol – a stress hormone that influences the level of serotonin – the neurotransmitter, which is often associated with depression.

During the study, participants (in an alcohol dependency program) were told to focus on yoga and rhythmic breathing. After two weeks, participants had a lower level of cortisol and symptoms of depression. Another study also proved the same. Acquired results showed that yoga helps in fighting with depression alone or with the help of traditional methods. 

7. Reduces chronic pain

Chronic pain can be a result of many severe causes from arthritis to injuries. Research has demonstrated that the regular practice of yoga reduces numerous types of chronic pain. In a study, 42 people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome did yoga for eight weeks or received a wrist splint. People who practiced yoga had positive results by improving their grip strength and experiencing less pain than those who received a wrist splint. Another study states that yoga helps in decreasing pain and improves the physical function of people suffering from osteoarthritis of knees. 

“Yoga is a dance between control and surrender — between pushing and letting go — and when to push and when to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your being.” – Joel Kramer

8. Cures insomnia

Poor sleep quality is associated with high blood pressure, depression, and obesity, amongst other disorders. Studies show that incorporating yoga into your life helps in promoting better sleep. 

In a study, 69 elderly patients were assigned three different programs – practice yoga, be a part of the control group, or take herbal preparation. The group who were assigned to do yoga fell asleep quickly and slept for a long time, and were well-rested in the morning. 

Another study was performed on the patients of lymphoma. The regular practice of yoga decreased sleep disturbance, while improving the duration and quality of sleep. Yoga increases the secretion of melatonin – a hormone that regulates wakefulness and sleep. Yoga has notable effects on the causes of sleep issues such as anxiety, chronic pain, stress, and depression. 

9. Promotes flexibility and balance

Numerous people incorporate yoga into fitness routines for improving balance and flexibility. It’s well known that practicing yoga regularly improves your balance and flexibility. A study was performed on 66 older people. They were assigned to 2 different groups. One group was told to practice yoga and the other one was told to practice calisthenics. After one year, the flexibility of the yoga group increased 4 times as compared to the calisthenics group. 

According to a study in 2013, yoga can improve mobility and balance in older adults. Daily practice of yoga for just 15 to 30 minutes can make a big difference. It can enhance performance by improving balance and flexibility. 

10. Invigorates the nervous system 

It is crucial to have a strong nervous system that reacts to stress and relaxes in the absence of stressors. Unfortunately, numerous people fail to react in the absence of stressors. People who are often overstressed are prone to stroke and heart diseases. 

Stressed people also adopt unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, physical inactivity, and smoking. A study shows that yoga and meditation help in keeping our body relaxed, calm, and working. It also reduces the chances of engaging in bad behaviors, which can affect your health. It reduces blood pressure and allows the body to be active. It also strengthens the nervous system.

Do you practice yoga? If so, what’s your favorite part about it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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