Part 1 - Yoga and Physical Health
Yoga does not see a distinction between the body and the mind; and this is an understanding that western psychology has also concluded for many years now (the link between mental health and physical health, and vice versa).
If you’ve come to this book looking to understand yoga as a means to help your body heal or improve, then please don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place!
Yoga is indeed a process that involves releasing blocked tension and energy in the body, and helping make the muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and all other components work to their utmost potential.
Yoga believes that human beings are optimally designed, by nature, to be flexible and agile; and stiffness and lack of mobility only arrive when the body is unhealthy or out of alignment.
Therefore, countless people have found themselves in a yoga class, or on a yoga mat at home in front of a Yoga video or DVD, in the hopes of improving their physical health; and perhaps you may be one of them. If that’s the case, then keep reading!
There are proven physical benefits of yoga, which include:
* increased flexibility and range of motion
* reduced pain in joints and muscles
* stronger immune system
* stronger lung capacity and therefore higher quality respiration
* increased metabolism (which can lead to weight loss!)
* higher quality of sleep (especially due to improved breathing and a more oxygenated body)
Given that certain yoga practices require postures to be mastered, yoga has always helped promote the body’s flexibility; it also helps in lubricating the joints, ligaments
and tendons. Yoga detoxifies by increasing the flow of blood to various parts of the body. It helps tone and invigorate muscles that have grown flaccid and weak.
So please do keep in mind that, while yoga is often discussed in terms of its mental approach, there are clear and proven physical benefits that are a part of this approach.
Therefore, if weight loss is your goal, or the ability to shovel the snow in winter without having your back ache for days, then yoga is as viable an option to you as it is for the stressed-out corporate executive who needs to find a strategy for coping with the craziness if her busy life!
Part 2 - Why is Yoga Beneficial?