Healing Yoga | How Does Yoga Heal? | Yoga Natural Remedies & Benefits

Yoga is a practice, discipline, and a health and fitness workout. Its benefits to the body and mind are abundant, thus, it is called “healing yoga”. How does yoga heal? It heals and cures because of its natural remedies and benefits that permeates the body when engaged in yoga practice.

Combination of Mind and Body Exercises

Doing yoga involves a combination of mind and body exercises, for there are physical postures and breathing techniques to follow in each type thereof. In yoga classes, students will be instructed to pay attention to their breath as they follow a series of poses. This will also help them to become mindful of their body.

While doing the poses, students will begin to realize if some parts of their body feel different as they move. For instance, it is easier to maintain balance on their right leg, or that there are stretches which relieve the tension of a particular part of the body.

Yoga is a mind-body awareness as its practice includes physical moves (asana), breathing (pranayama), meditation (dhyana), and relaxation (savasana) which allows intimacy with one’s physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

Yoga, while a mind-and-body awareness, promotes lots of health benefits. It may help prevent certain diseases or be an instant first aid to any physical or mind discomfort.

Yoga was only a practice of meditation before it became notorious as a physical exercise. Owing to mind-body connection being maintained while doing yoga, it was performed not only to aid mental issues like anxiety and depression, but also to improve flexibility and strength.

In addition, it can be said that a person’s mental wellness has an impact his physical health. Stress can be devastating not only to the mind, but also to the body. If it builds up, it causes headaches or pains in the back or neck.

Following a range of positions and movements in yoga practice, while doing breathing techniques, will help alleviate any pain the joints and to improve the mood and offer calmness. Undeniably, yoga has benefits both in the physical and mental aspects of a person who does it.

What are the Natural Yoga Benefits, and Why Does it Matter?

According to Linda Schlamadinger McGrath, the founder of Yoga Source Los Gatos in California, yoga has benefits on a physical level as it helps improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance, and on a psychological level, yoga helps students to become mindful to their thoughts, emotions, and sensations while doing the poses or exercises.

The following are the benefits of yoga to a person’s overall health:

Yoga promotes mental health

As an exercise, yoga helps to boost energy and mood, so it aids in relieving stress. According to the 2017 journal, Psychoneuro endocrinology, yoga interventions improves objective measures of the body’s stress level like reduced waking cortisol, lower resting heart rate, and reduced evening cortisol levels. Manuela Kogon, MD, California’s internal medicine doctor and clinical associate professor of Psychiatry, said that because yoga is an exercise that comprises the body and mind, it also has benefits to emotional health.

Further, Dr. Kogon stated that the concentration or focus in the body postures shift attention aways from negative thinking, that it is not just movement which yoga practice comprises, but also breath tied to dynamic movements. As shown in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, people with schizophrenia and depression can benefit from yoga.

Yoga helps to have a good sleep

As relaxation is associated with yoga, it is essential to have a good sleep. According to Tamal Dodge, the founder of Yoga Salt in Los Angeles, the practice of relaxing postures or asanas will help to calm the body and the mind. One example of posture is the Uttanasana or forward fold.

Yoga relieves hangover

Dr. Kogon said that the increased blood flow resulted with yoga practice eliminates the toxic effect of alcohol. Gentle poses are appropriate for those experiencing nausea caused by drinking alcohol.

Yoga helps to treat chronic back pain

As yoga practice improves muscular strength and flexibility, it helps to ease back pain.  As suggested by researches, improving back function is the usual care for chronic back pain.

Dr. Kogon said that Hatha or Iyengar which are gentler types of yoga are suitable with people who experience back problems or other medical conditions. It is best to consult a doctor before trying out new physical activity.

Yoga helps to fight heart disease

Research shows that yoga reduces heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure. Patients with heart failure who adds yoga to their treatment is shown to have improved heart health compared to those who did not.

Dr. Kogon said that yoga improves blood circulation and gets oxygen to the body’s periphery, and relaxes blood vessels, which is good for failures in the heart as it eases its workload.

Undeniably, breathing exercises, physical activity, and meditation are separately all known to be helpful in fighting against cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, yoga which has the combination of all these three is also helpful.

Yoga helps to recover from arthritis pain

According to studies, yoga improves joint function. Like a regular exercise, yoga can keep the flexibility of joints, the toning of muscles, and the control of weight. It is a great way for people with arthritis to stay active because as compared to regular exercise, yoga is less stressful.

Yoga helps to ease asthma symptoms

Dr. Kogon says that yoga helps to ease asthma symptoms because of the breathing exercises associated with it. The breathing control reduces stress and regulates breathing.

Yoga helps to manage Sclerosis symptoms

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms include muscle stiffness. It is a condition which affects the brain and spine.

Research says that yoga can help in the day-to-day functioning of people with MS by improving and strengthening their muscle alignment and balance, and by promoting relaxation.

Yoga helps reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms

Yoga relieves stress and promotes well-being. People who deal with trauma or difficult events may turn to yoga to achieve mental wellness.

According to Dr. Edward Laskowski, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in Minnesota, the benefits of yoga among people are different, but overall, yoga’s components can help with strength, balance, flexibility, and stability. It can also help with specific measures of health like weight loss, eating habits, and cardiovascular health as shown by researches. The benefit of yoga depends on the style and pace of the type of yoga that a person is doing.

Why is yoga the natural master of all remedies?

Yoga is considered as the natural master of all remedies because of its many benefits and its suitability for everyone’s needs. By practicing yoga, it imposes a relaxing feeling which helps to banish any displeasure or discomfort a person may have.

People do yoga for varied of reasons. It aids both the mental and physical aspects of a person as it helps to improve posture, gain relaxation, gain focus, sleep better, and achieve a physically fit body.

Yoga can be practiced by people of different ages. Even children can perform yoga to overcome their tantrums, to control their overflowing energy, and to solve their problems in sleeping. There are recommended yoga adventures for specific ages.

  • For children ages three (3) to five (5) years old, simple yoga poses with engaging songs and stories are appropriate.
  • For children ages six (6) to nine (9) years old who love games, the practice of fun and challenging poses can be resorted to, seeking to improve their strength and flexibility and teaching them to focus.
  • For children ages ten (10) to twelve (12) years old or those who belong to preteen years, the main goal is to promote their self-confidence or self-respect and body awareness through visualization and breathing exercises which will help combat the life stressors and allow balance and concentration.
  • For teens and adults ages thirteen and above, it is best to engage in yoga postures which focus on the physical benefits of yoga practice, as well as relaxation exercises.

Yoga is for everyone

It is a practice which heals, strengthens, calms, and empowers mind and body of a person regardless of gender, age, race, size and shape.

There are wide range of yoga poses which is suitable for individual’s needs and goals which are:

  • Child’s Pose – it gently stretches spine, hips, and neck
  • Downward-Facing Dog – it helps relieve back pain by stretching the hamstrings, calves, and arches of the feet
  • Plank Pose – it strengthens the upper body and tones the abs
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose – it strengthens arms and wrists and tones the abdomen
  • Cobra Pose – it strengthens the back muscles
  • Tree Pose – it helps to improve balance and posture
  • Triangle Pose – it helps to build legs strength
  • Seated Half-Spinal Twist Pose – it can help increase back’s flexibility and relieves tension
  • Bridge Pose – it strengthens the back and hamstring muscles
  • Corpse Pose – it is a typical end pose which allows a moment of relaxation

The combination of asanas (poses), breathing techniques, and meditation are essential blocks of yoga. Aside from modifications that can be made by the students if a pose causes them pain or proves to be too difficult to follow, props like chairs, blankets, straps, and blocks can also be used to get the benefit from the poses.

Generally, yoga improves balance and posture, and stretches and strengthens the muscles and joints. Dr. Roger Cole, a psychologist and Iyengar yoga teacher, described yoga’s restorative side as rejuvenating and relaxing, and that in every yoga session, relaxation is built into it.

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