Why is Practicing Yoga so Good for your Mental and Physical Health?

What is Yoga?

Here are several definitions, from different sources, that all define "Yoga" in the following ways:

  • "A healing system of theory and practice. It is a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years."
  • "An Indian word for 'union.' Yoga is a posturing and breathing technique to induce relaxation."
  • "The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word 'Yuj' meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual - body with mind and mind with soul - to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with the supreme"

Physical Benefits of Practicing Yoga

There are many debates regarding the spiritual side of yoga; however, there is one thing that science has proven over the years--yoga is definitely physically very good for your body.  Let's explore the benefits that doing yoga can bring you, according to medical research:

  • Yoga creates a toned, strong and flexible body

  • Kapalbhati breathing, known as the "breath of fire", is great for allergies, as it forces out the mucus blocking one's system
  • By engaging in deep breathing, you relax the nervous system inside the body.  By relaxing the nervous system, you help it fight off bacteria that often attack and result in sickness
  • According to FitnessHealthZone.com, "Yoga helps to lower stress hormones that weaken the immune system and also conditions the lungs and respiratory tract. It also stimulates the lymphatic system to excrete toxins from the body and brings oxygenated blood to various parts of the body to ensure proper functioning."

How Can Yoga be Incorporated into Patient Recovery Programs

Many medical professionals in the past few years have been moving from traditional western medicine to forms of Eastern medicine that include alternative practices such as yoga.  If you are a nurse and the doctor has authorized one of your patients to begin exercising, why not suggest one of the many forms of yoga?  It is low impact and has been proven to help patients overcome both mental and physical obstacles on their way to recovery.  Introducing it as an option gives your patient more solutions than merely popping pills; that way they can look at their healing as more of an experience, rather than a one-time quick fix to stop the pain.

Holistic Nutrition Degree Options

Along with yoga, a physical exercise of the body, comes the belief that what you put into your body can help you heal physically and mentally from illness or injury.  If you are curious about this kind of healing, have you considered exploring the wide variety of online schools that offer health and wellness related programs? It may be wise to explore online degree programs that focus on holistic nutrition.

How Yoga Can Heal the Mind and Body

Ashley Hartley, a yoga teacher who owns her own yoga studio in Austin, Texas, has this to say about the benefits of yoga:

"I have gained so much more from yoga than a physical transformation.  Not only is this practice healing for the body, but also for the mind and heart.  My daily yoga practice has empowered me to live my life in the ways I have always wanted.  In a world filled with many obstacles and distractions, yoga has given me the tools to approach life with effortlessness, calm, and focus.  It has taught me how to reach deep within myself and connect with my truth.  The most important part of my yoga practice is taking the lessons I learn on my mat out into the world where they become truy life-changing.  I look forward to practicing with you!" - Ashley Hartley, Founder, Empower Yoga



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