Yoga is an ancient of science that has existed since time immoral which was first mentioned approximately 5,000 years ago in the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is ancient text containing yoga, mantras, rituals and techniques. People of the modern day in age have adopted yoga as a daily means to incorporate more peace, joy and health into their life.
Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘yoke’ the individuals mind with the Supreme (where humanity and nature can be one with the higher consciousness of the Cosmos.) Yoga is a physical practice that is done to unites ones’s consciousness with the Cosmic consciousness. Yogaasanas(postures) were adopted and practiced by the ancient Rishis (sages) in order to prepare their body to sit in meditation.
“Yogai s the journey of the self, to the Self, through the Self”. ~ The Bhagavad Gitā
Here are 5 ways doing yoga daily can benefit your life:
1. Connects you to your Source
Doing yoga asanas is a way you can connect to your Source. It is a very intimate practice between your mind, body and spirit. For many people doing yoga itself is a form of moving meditation for them. Through awareness and doing the asanas the practitioner focuses their attention on their breath. By moving the body with awareness and conscious breath this gives the benefit of mind, body integration and a greater connection to Source.
2. Improves flexibility
A common complaint amongst people is back, knee or hip pain. Pain is the body’s way of getting our attention. Most often pain is from a lack of movement and tight muscles. Yoga eliminates muscle atrophy, strengthens muscles, improves flexibility and lubricates the joints. Asanas increase blood flow, circulation and prana (life energy) flow throughout the body.
3. Reduces stress
Yoga has been proven to reduce cortisol in the body which is responsible for feeling stressed, irritable, moody, overwhelmed and on edge. By breathing consciously while doing asanas it can reduce hypertension, blood pressure and the heart rate. It encourages you to slow down, relax and focus your thoughts on the present. Stress is when the system is in the flight of flight response (sympathetic nervous system). The benefit of doing yoga is that is puts the body into the rest and digest (parasympathetic system) mode. They whole body system relaxes.
4. Eliminate anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression stems from excessive thoughts, feelings or emotions which are ruminating on the past or the future. Breath is the bridge between the body and the mind. When one slows down and focuses on the breath, it increases more awareness to the present moment. By being aware of your thoughts you can reduce them and choose focus on the present moment. Yoga helps to release deep holding patterns caused by excessive thoughts and establish a sense of balance and equilibrium throughout the whole being.
5. Improve sleep and relaxation
One out of 3 people experience or have experienced insomnia at one point in their life. Unfortunately, lot’s of people are suffering from chronic insomnia due to a stressful lifestyle. Adequate rest is essential to rejuvenate and heal the body and immune system daily. If one does not sleep properly it can affect one’s physical and psychological well being. Yoga reduces the stress response, fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) and puts the body into rest and digest (parasympathetic system) state. It completely unwinds the nervous system by increasing blood flow to the brain’s sleep center and releasing essential hormones for the body to relax and sleep. Yoga has also been proven to improve the quality of sleep by reducing the time to fall asleep, amount of times waking up during the night and by allowing you to get good deep sleep.
For many people around the world yoga provides relief to a busy and chaotic lifestyle. The benefits for practicing yoga are immeasurable and too many to list. Yoga overall helps the body and being to become fully integrated towards optimum health and equanimity on a grand scale. People who practice daily experience more awareness, mindfulness and an overall improved quality of life. Yoga can help you to get back into joyful living and alignment towards your higher purpose.