Yoga originated thousands of years ago in India as a technique capable of helping people achieve self-realization. Nowadays, people practice yoga to improve their physical and mental as well as spiritual state. There are a many forms of yoga, which basically encompass physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga reinvigorates and tones muscles; it improves balance and flexibility and increases blood flow and vitality. It is also great for reducing stress. Recent research at Harvard Medical School has found that yoga reduces chemical elements associated with anxiety in the bloodstream and releases other elements that trigger relaxation, reducing muscle tension and lowering heart rate.
Mental Performance and Yoga
Studies using electroencephalogram to measurer the brain’s electrical impulses, triggered by a very common breathing technique in yoga – with a single nostril at a time – showed increased brain activity on the opposite side of the brain. Specialists suggest that regular practice of this breathing technique can help increase communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. Other studies suggest that yoga can lead to an improved cognitive performance.
Yoga and Weight Control
Some postures stimulate the indolence of the glands and increase the hormonal secretion. The thyroid gland, especially, has a great effect on our weight because it affects the metabolism. There are numerous asanas (postures) such as the landing on the shoulders and the posture of the fish, which are specific to the thyroid gland. Fat metabolism also increases and, thus, is converted to muscle and energy.