Benefits Of Yoga


People in the cities of Nepal are increasingly gravitating towards Yoga for their exercise. Many separate an hour or two from their day to stretch their bodies and practise various postures that help them relax and exercise. It does not tire people out like conventional exercises and it also refreshes the mind and calms the soul.

Yoga, or Yog as it is known in this part of the world, is essential for complete well-being and should be part of everyone’s lifestyle, experts stress. Yoga exercises all parts of the body and helps counter the increasingly sedentary life we are leading. It makes us active and helps with bodily functions.

The physical and breathing exercises and meditation, all of which are part of Yog, keep the body physically, mentally and socially healthy. The physical exercises prompt the release of endorphins which increase happiness and boost immunity. The breathing exercises or Pranayama increase our oxygen intake and strengthen our lungs. The oxygen breathed into the body also helps burn food and produce energy. This energy can then help us contribute to society and enhance our social well-being.

The meditation aspects of yoga calm and concentrate our mind. It can help us enter what is called the ‘flow state’ which increases creativity and innovativeness. Running, playing a musical instrument or any other activity which completely absorbs our focus can have the same effect too.

Furthermore, Yoga supports the release of ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin which make us happy and relaxed from the inside and ready us to face the challenges of our day. These benefits of yoga, especially to mental health, have also been proven by research. 

Yoga focuses our thoughts and boosts mental health. It is also great for stress relief. But regularity is key to reaping these benefits. Doing yoga for two hours at once and then taking a gap of a week is not advisable. Instead, those who face a lack of time may only do it for 30 minutes a day but they have to do it every day.

These 30 minutes too can be broken down into 10-minute segments, each for physical exercises, Pranayama and meditation. These can be done in groups or alone, based on preference, and in rooms, gardens or on roofs, based on the availability of space. When doing Yoga in rooms though, we must keep it properly ventilated and open the windows and doors to allow fresh air in. Yoga can be done in any room or place as long as air can flow in.

Also, one does not need a lot of preparation or work to start. There are over a hundred different postures in Yoga, which means that anyone can start it. From idle desk workers to active athletes, there is a pose for every type of body in Yoga and even people who have never entered a gym or sculpted their bodies into shape need not be afraid to take up Yoga. The idea here is to achieve a balance between your body and soul and achieve fitness rather than sweat it out and get a god-like figure. 

In addition to the benefits explained above, Yoga can also lessen pain, including headaches. It also lowers blood pressure. The moves make the body flexible and increase muscle strength and tone. This protects the body from injuries. As mentioned, it improves respiration which increases metabolism and energy production. 

This also contributes to weight reduction and weight reduction. It also reduces inflammation, which has been linked to heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and other unpleasant conditions. Yoga may also improve balance. This may be particularly important for senior citizens who are at a greater risk of falling and sustaining debilitating injuries because of that. However, it must be acknowledged that further studies are needed before one can make any definitive statements about this. But strengthening the body and making it more flexible can at least ensure that people do not get hurt as badly even if they do fall.

But perhaps the most significant benefit of Yoga – and one that needs emphasising – is stress reduction and management. Regular Yoga clears the mind and makes it calm, which together reduce stress and the problems it brings. And because of this, Yoga also helps in reducing anxiety, including social anxiety. Numerous studies across the world suggest this.

So, remember that Yoga is much more than the physical poses we are shown in advertisements and movies and includes activities designed to make the mind, body and soul healthier. 

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