Yoga - Benefits beyond the mat

Yoga - Benefits beyond the matYoga - Benefits beyond the mat - Yoga, an ancient practice and meditation, is more and more popular in today's hectic society. For many people, yoga provides a retreat from their chaotic and busy lives.  

This is true whether you're practicing downward facing dog posture on a mat in his room in an ashram in India or even in Times Square in New York.  

Yoga offers many other physical and mental benefits. Some of these extend to the kitchen table.

Types of Yoga

There are many types of yoga. Hatha (a combination of several styles) is one of the most popular models. It is a more physical type of yoga rather than a still image, form of meditation. Hatha yoga focuses on pranayama (controlled breathing exercises). They are followed by a series of asanas (yoga postures), which end with savasana (a resting period).

The goal in practicing yoga is to challenge you physically, but not exceeded. This "border", the emphasis is on breathing while your mind is accepting and calm.

Better Body Image

Yoga develops inner awareness. Attention on the capacity of your body to present axes. It helps develop breath and strength of mind and body. It is not about physical appearance.

Yoga studios usually do not have mirrors. This is so people can focus their awareness inward rather than how a pose - or the people around them - looks. Surveys have shown that those who practiced yoga were more aware of their bodies than people who do not practice yoga. They were also more satisfied and less critical of their bodies. For these reasons, yoga has become an integral part in the treatment of disorders and programs that positive body image and self-esteem eating favor.

Become Conscience Eater

Mindfulness refers to focusing your attention on what you are experiencing in the present moment, without judgment.

The practice of yoga has been shown to increase attention not only in class, but in other areas of life of a person.

Researchers describe mindful eating as awareness without judgment physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. They developed a questionnaire to measure mindful eating using these behaviors:

     *  Eating even when full (disinhibition)
     *  Being aware of how food looks, tastes and smells
     *  Eating in response to environmental signals, such as sight or smell of food
     *  Eating when sad or stressed (emotional eating)
     *  Eating when distracted by other things

Researchers found that people who practice yoga were more aware eaters according to their scores. The two years of yoga practice and number of minutes of practice per week was associated with scores of eating better aware.  

Practicing yoga helps you be more aware of how your body feels. This awareness can lead to mealtime as you savor each bite or sip, and note how food smells, tastes and feels in your mouth.

Stimulate weight loss and maintenance 

People who practice yoga and are mindful eaters are more in tune with their bodies. They can be more sensitive to hunger and satiety signals.

Researchers found that people who practice yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight in middle age adult. Those overweight actually lost weight. In general, those who practiced yoga had lower body mass index (BMI) compared to those who did not practice yoga. The researchers attributed to full consciousness. Mindful eating can lead to a more positive relationship with food and eating.

Improved fitness 

Yoga is known for its ability to ease tension and anxiety in the mind and body. But it can also have an impact on the exercise of an individual capacity.

The researchers studied a small group of sedentary individuals who did not practice yoga before. After eight weeks of practicing yoga at least twice a week for a total of 180 minutes, participants had greater muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and aerobic fitness.

Cardiovascular benefits 

Several small studies have found yoga to have a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors: It helped lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. It is likely that yoga restores "baroreceptor sensitivity." This helps the body senses imbalances in blood pressure and balance.

Another study found that yoga practice improves the lipid profile in patients and patients with the disease of healthy known coronary artery. It also reduces excessive blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes and reduces their need for medication. Yoga is included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs due to its cardiovascular benefits and relieve stress.

Before starting a new exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor.Researchers are also studying if yoga can help people with depression and arthritis, and improve cancer survival.

Yoga can help to restore calm and take care of your busy life. Find Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT) and studios (RYS) by Yoga Alliance.

By: Marlynn Wei,MD,JD 
Provided by: Harvard Health Publications


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