We live in a world today where we get caught up in our busy schedules and then complain about how tired and stressed out we are. We begin to complain about gaining weight, having no energy and we carry this stress on our shoulders and back and we lose our balance. In our world today it is very easy to get caught up on the stresses of our daily lives, but it’s also easy to do something about that stress. There is an ancient practice that can help us bring our mind, bodies and soul back into balance and can help reduce our stress and improve our physique, yoga. Yoga has been practiced for many years and is becoming more and more popular in western countries.
Why has yoga gained so much popularity in the United States? According to a recent study by Yoga Journal, more than 20 million Americans practice yoga. Yoga makes us feel better and for those of us that practice yoga know that these effects are almost immediate. According the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), yoga is one of the top 10 most commonly used complementary health practice among adults. According to research from NIH and NCCIH, many people who practice yoga do it to address certain health issues such as back pain, arthritis among others. Science says that yoga may help us improve our quality of life, reduce stress, lower heart rate, reduce anxiety, insomnia, and improve our overall physical fitness.
How can we gain such benefits from practicing yoga?
- Connect– Yoga helps us become aware of the world around us, of our bodies, our feelings and the needs of others. The meditative aspect helps us reach a deeper, more spiritual and satisfying place in our lives.
- Relax– Yoga has mental benefits, it helps us handle stress more easily and it helps us relax because it improves the flow of blood in our brain. Yoga teaches us how to quiet our minds and focus on our energy and where we want that energy to flow. It can help us reduce anxiety and dissolve stress.
- Improve– practicing yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, lowers fat, improves circulation and stimulates the immune system, among many other physical benefits. Yoga helps us have a more toned physique and will boost confidence.
A great thing about the world we live in today is that we don’t have to spend extra time and drive somewhere to practice yoga; we can practice yoga from of our homes. Thanks to our computers and smart phones all we have to do is download an app and set time aside for ourselves and practice yoga. This modern technology connects us all virtually and gives us the opportunity to share our stories and experiences with yoga. We may be suffering from some chronic pain and would like to try something other than modern medicine, we read that yoga has helped several people with the same problem we are experiencing, so we decide to try it out and we may get similar results. According to NIH and NCCIH, yoga is low-impact and safe for healthy people so we don’t have to worry about side effects like we would with medicine. All we need is patience with ourselves and we will begin to feel good about ourselves and the world around us.