Since 2014, the Indian doctrine of movement has had its own UN-established holiday. However, thousands of years passed before it got this far. It was only relatively recently – about 20 years ago – that yoga reached the masses in Austria. In its home country of India, however, people have been practising the beneficial contortions for more than 3000 years. But how healthy is yoga really? Find out everything about the positive effects of yoga on the body and the psyche.
Yoga is so healthy for the body
Yoga combines movement sequences, the so-called asanas, with breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation. These exercises – correctly performed – can challenge the mobility of the spine. In this way, tensions that arise from sitting so much in everyday life are gently released. As a result, headaches and neck pain also subside. Joints, muscles and ligaments remain or become supple. At the same time, yoga strengthens the muscles throughout the body. In the long term, bad postures improve, which also has a positive effect on health.
A study also found that hatha yoga causes significant improvements in high blood pressure after only four weeks. The heart rhythm also becomes more regular. A British study showed that pranayama, the breathing techniques of yoga, alleviate symptoms of asthma. Migraine sufferers report noticeable improvement in chronic headaches thanks to regular yoga sessions.
Yoga is so healthy for the psyche
For some time now, science has been studying the health effects of yoga in detail. And the results are promising. For example, studies have shown that yoga has a mood-lifting effect. So especially in autumn, when many people suffer from autumn blues, it’s the perfect time to roll out the yoga mat. Yoga can also help with anxiety and stress.
This positive effect of yoga on the psyche results on the one hand from the movement: it reduces stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. On the other hand, the relaxation phases in yoga are also important. They also help to lower the stress level. At the same time, yoga brings the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems back into balance. They are part of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn controls automatic processes in the body, such as pulse and breathing rate or the release of stress hormones.
What you should consider
Yoga is only so healthy if you do the exercises correctly. Technique is essential. At yoga workshops or yoga courses you learn how to do the individual movements correctly. And even for the yoga professionals, it is always nice to indulge in the flow together with a group of like-minded people. If you are suffering from an acute illness, you should check with your doctor whether and which exercises are possible for you. Do not overexert yourself and respect your limits.
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