Yoga, indeed a word that gives immense relief to a person. When performed well under expert guidance, it can provide incredible results. Yoga is a very safe and accessible way to stay active across all age groups. It improves our posture and mobility. It also relaxes our mind, making us calmer and reducing the experience of aches and pains. Whether a person suffers from depression, acute stress, asthma, diabetes, cholesterol or ultimately cancer, Yoga helps all people cure or reduce even the most dangerous diseases. Yoga, a form of mind and body relaxation, has a vital advantage for all, from individuals who are obese and need to shed weight, to individuals who need to unwind and relax. It helps in weight reduction that also advances a balanced physical and mental health. The various yoga poses focus mostly on building body flexibility, improving concentration and building your muscle tone. While yoga isn’t traditionally considered an aerobic exercise, certain yoga types are more physical than others. Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga. Know how Yoga poses and postures can help you revitalize your vital energy for curing ailments and in general, improve wellness.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
Here are some health benefits of performing yoga on a regular basis.
TYPES OF YOGA
Learn about 10 different types of yoga and their benefits.
Acro Yoga: Acroyoga is a physical practice which combines acrobatics and yoga. Acroyoga includes group acrobatics and many types of the partner in which at least someone is lifted. It also draws on cheer-leading, dance acro and traditions of circus arts.
Kundalini Yoga: It is a form of yoga which involves singing, chanting, repetitive poses and breathing exercises. Kundalini Yoga purpose is to activate your shakti or energy. It is a spiritual energy which is said to be located at your spine.
Power Yoga: It is a common term used to describe a fitness, vigorous-based approach to yoga. Power yoga incorporates lots of vinyasas and athleticism of Ashtanga but gives the flexibility to teach any poses making every class different.
Ashtanga Yoga: This yoga system is recorded in the Yoga Korunta by the sage Vamana Rishi said to contain lists of highly original teachings on Drishti, vinyasa, mudras, philosophy and bandhas. It also has many groupings of asanas.
Vinyasa Yoga: A vinyasa is a smooth transition between asanas in modern yoga exercises such as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa Krama Yoga, especially when movement is paired with the breath.
Hatha Yoga: When you think of yoga in general terms, this branch of yoga typically comes to mind. The practise involves body, mind and breath, and classes are usually of breathing and meditation.
Restorative Yoga: This Yoga is the practice of asanas, each held for longer than in traditional yoga as exercise classes, often with the support of props such as folded blankets, to relax the body.
Yin Yoga: It is a slow-paced exercise style of yoga, incorporating postures (asanas) and traditional Chinese medicine principles that are held for more extended periods than in other types.
Sivananda Yoga: Founded by Swami Vishnudevananda; Sivananda Yoga is a spiritual yoga system that is not limited to the use of asanas, as in yoga systems as exercise.
Aerial Yoga: It is a hybrid model of yoga developed in the year 2014 combining pilates, dance and traditional yoga poses with the use of a hammock.
YOGA FOR DISEASES AND POSTURAL ISSUES
YOGA FOR ARTHRITIS
Here are a few yoga poses and techniques by Ms Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder - Yoganama that are good for Arthritis.
Sukshama Vyvayama: These are gentle joint rotation exercises that can be done while sitting on a chair, and most of them can also be done lying down. Regularly doing these joint activation movements keeps the joint lubricated and prevents stiffness and pain.
Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises should be done both before and after the yoga session. In the beginning, more heating practices like Kapalabhati or Bhastrika can be done as they assist in warming up the body and increasing circulation. More cooling and meditative pranayama practices like Equal Breathing or Alternate nostril breathing can be done after the session.
Sun Salutations: These are invigorating and refreshing; however, care should be taken to modify the sequence suitably for your specific condition. For instance, forward bends can aggravate lower back pain. In this case, it is wiser to place your hands on a chair instead of forcing the hands to reach for the ground.
Holding Poses: Postures should be held for 5 to 9 breaths each to build strength and stability. When holding poses, it is essential to get the alignment right, so we are strong and stable. Repeatedly doing postures with incorrect form is not suitable for the joints. Bridge Pose is good for the lower back. Warrior Poses are ideal for the knees and legs. Tree Pose helps improve balance. The cat-cow pose is excellent for finding fluidity in the spine. Corpse Pose is perfect for complete relaxation and recovery.
YOGA FOR BACK PAIN
Back pain has become one of the most common ailments that most of us face lately. The causes for back pain are plenty, and they range from lifestyle defects to more severe conditions like scoliosis or spondylitis. Back pain can also be muscular or have to do with the spine and nerves. The most common reason for back pain, especially among students, working professionals and homemakers is postural defects. Our spine has 4 natural curves that help with shock absorption and load-bearing. When you deviate from those curves, (due to bad posture, bad sleeping habits etc.) your muscles try to bring the spine back to those natural curves. This continuous stress on the strengths and spine causes back pain.
Some of the most common postural defects by Jahnavi Patwardhan (Yoga Instructor, Sarva Yoga) are-
A hunch back: this usually occurs due to working on a laptop for too long, hunching over books or looking at the phone for too long. This causes the upper back to round and the upper back and neck muscles to tighten. This stiffness can cause pain. One of the most effective upper back stretches the puppy pose. Mastyasana can help relieve tension in the upper back as well.
Bhujangasana: Exaggerated lumbar curve. This, along with weak lower back muscles, can cause tremendous lower back pain. An exaggerated lower back curve is usually seen in women, especially during and after pregnancy. This pain can be relieved with some lower back stretches like bhujangasana, sphinx pose, reclined pigeon pose. Some poses to relax the lower back are Childs pose, reclined spinal twist.
Navasana: And lastly, one of the most important things to do is to strengthen the back. Your back pain can be simply due to weak back muscles. Some poses to strengthen the back and core muscles are navasana, vashishtasana, shalabhasana and setubandhasana.
How Can Yoga Help With Healthy Weight Loss?
"Practising yoga improves your metabolism, thereby building up your strength and flexibility. Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation, Urdhva Dhanurasana – Wheel Pose, Trikonasana – Triangle pose, Navasana – Boat Pose, Prasarita Padottanasana - Wide Stance Forward Bend, Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose and Dhanurasana – Bow pose are some of the famous yoga poses which have multiple benefits including weight loss. Yoga helps by bringing you better in sync of your body, improving your mental self-image and feeling of well-being. Reducing stress and thereby stress eating is another way that yoga can support weight loss. Reliable yoga practice by empowering a solid way of life causes it almost certain that you will have the option to keep up your weight reduction" says Reema Vengurlekar - Yoga instructor.
YOGA FOR ASTHMA
Asthma is one of such problems. It is a chronic and long-term respiratory system disease that affects the lungs. In general layman words, Asthma causes a lot of difficulty in breathing and airways get blocked. That is why ancient Indian medical experts and modern medical science suggest that using Yoga can do wonders to a person with this critical condition. Likewise, perform different Yoga postures to sort this problem. Rashmi Singh, Yoga Instructor shares a few of them below:
Bharastika: Known as the breath of life, Bharastika yoga posture includes inhalation and exhalation forcefully to provide a complete supply of oxygen to the body. This asana or Yoga posture helps strengthen lungs and solve asthma-related problems.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama: Very easy to do Anulom Vilom Pranayam improves the functioning of lungs, reduces stress, depression and useful for asthma patients.
Kapalbhati Pranayama: If you want to improve respiratory system functioning, practice Kapalbhati Pranayama. This is an excellent breathing technique practised from the last several centuries.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama: Popular as Alternate Nostril Breathing, Nadi Shodhana Breathing is the advanced Anulom Vilom Pranayama level. Here, nadis are used. Nadis are the energy channels in the human body that get blocked in an Asthmatic person. This asana indeed reduces stress, opens the blocked Nadis, gives enough oxygen to the body, and mitigates depression.
These are few Yoga Postures you can even perform daily but yes under expert guidance.
YOGA FOR DIABETES
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Three types of diabetes can most commonly affect a person, Diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Did you know that yoga could help treat diabetes? Diabetic patients can manage their disease with yoga. Asanas make your body respond to insulin better, releasing the glucose in your cells and converting it into energy. Here a few yoga postures by GGOURI RAHEJA, YOGA TEACHER.
Half twisting poses: This asana must be practised either first thing in the morning or at least 4 to 6 hours after a meal. This asana helps to massage and stimulate the pancreas, and thus, helps those who have diabetes.
Vajrasana (Diamond Pose): It is a beginner level kneeling pose that works well after a meal, unlike other yoga poses.
Halasana (Plow Pose): Halasana works best when done in the morning on an empty stomach. This intermediate-level yoga asana must be done for at least 30-60 seconds.
PRECAUTIONS DURING YOGA
Follow up your yoga practice with a meditation session and enjoy the sense of complete wellbeing! The best part about yoga is that even though it may not be as intense as a typical aerobics routine, it still moves the body in all different directions, lubricates the joints and the bodyweight balancing postures, and strengthens our bones. Due to its low impact nature, it is also more enjoyable for people. And that means it easier to stay consistent and regular with the practice.