In this article you will learn:
- What is Yoga?
- 4 Components of Yoga
- Why Yoga is important in our life?
- What do Americans say About Yoga?
- 10 scientifically-backed reasons why Yoga is good for you.
Let’s start ………..
What is Yoga?
Before understanding the importance of yoga in our daily and modern life. We need to understand what is Yoga? and What is the purpose of Yoga?
Yoga is a continuous process of improving and empowering yourself.
Yoga does not mean to hold or twist your body in a certain manner or in a certain position. Because this anybody with a little practice can do or achieve. It is not about standing on your head or not about holding your breath. Posture or Asanas are a very small part of Yoga.
Yoga actually means that in your experience everything has become one. The word Yoga means Union.
4 Components Of Yoga
There are 4 general components of Yoga that really makes Yoga what it is.
- Postures or Asanas: This is the most obvious one. The physical exercise and stretches through performing different postures or Asanas. The breathing and relaxation techniques. All of these helping in working the body to affect our global functionality.
- Self Regulation: The ability to control our internal response to stress and emotion.
- Cultivation of Mind-Body Awareness: The sense of being able to experience what is going on in the body and in mind. This will help the person in changing behaviors in a very positive way.
- Experiencing the Spiritual States: The experiences that you have in deep meditation can be very transformative for you. It can help you in your pursuit of positivity in life. It can enhance your life meaning and purpose.
Read our article on the Philosophy Of Yoga to better understand the deeper meanings of Yoga.
Why Yoga is important in our Life?
Yoga is not an expression of who you are but instead, Yoga is a way of determining who you want to be.
Yoga is experiential, you have to go through a process to understand what yoga is. It can help you build an inward connection where you are motivated enough to transform yourself and be a good person in your life.
While practicing Yoga you will learn many many Asanas or postures. On the outside, it looks to be very physical or something very external. But it is not true. Underneath all of that what is really moving you is the breath, focal point, and your sense of concentration.
You are internally aligned while performing different Asanas or postures. This internal alignment breaths life into the Asanas. The posture or position at this time becomes the expression of your internal self.
Yoga changes you internally first. The transformation process comes through building this internal connection. It will inspire and motivate you to be better, to be more aware of yourself first, and after that to be more aware of your environment and your society.
It will empower you to live at a higher level. Practicing Yoga will help you in understanding yourself which will result in better understanding the people and society around you. It will teach you to connect with people more authentically and deeply.
Yoga can become your prayer. It can be your way of expressing your devotion to yourself or to the Universe.
Yoga can help you create balance in your life. It help you better integrate with your society. It give you clarity of who you really are and how you can relate with the people around you.
It does not matter what your role is in your life. You could be any body, a doctor, teacher, dancer, student, father, wife, or engineer. What matters is whether you are performing that role with respect and love. This is what yoga teaches you.
Yoga can be the thing for you to dive into and distract yourself from all the negativity and stress in your life. It will bring the light in to the darkest part of your personality. It can for sure help you in changing your perspective about life.
Practicing yoga can get you out of darkness. It will put you in peace.
Asanas are not the end
Asanas or postures are a vehicle for a deeper understanding of yourself and ultimately a deeper knowledge of God. Postures work by approaching points of difficulty within yourself. You understand who you are when you are tested.
Yoga will help you in understanding what it means to be strong on a spiritual level. Yoga Changes your world one breath at a time.
What Do Americans Say About Yoga
Another study shows that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga and spend $10.3 Billion a year on yoga-related classes and products.
In a survey conducted by NIH the majority of adults who practice yoga say it helped them in these following areas.
- 86% said it helps in stress reduction
- 67% said they felt better emotionally
- 63% said it motivated them to do exercise regularly.
- 59% said yoga helped in improving sleep
- 82% said it improved their overall health and well being.
- 43% said yoga inspired them to be a mindful eater.
- 39% said yoga helped them coping with health related issues.
- 25% said yoga motivated them to cut back or quit smoking.
- 12% said yoga inspired them to reduce or stop their Alcohol intake.
These figures are taken from the NIH website.
15 Reasons Why Yoga Is Good For You
For people who are more scientific in their approach towards things. Here are 15 reasons explaining why yoga is good for you.
1. Reduce Stress & Anxiety Levels
Yoga can help in the reduction of an exaggerated stress response. It can also be very helpful in anxiety and depression. Yoga modulates the stress response system which decreases physiological arousal.
A recent study done at the University of Utah suggests that yoga can help a person regulate their response to stress, anxiety, and pain. – (Harvard)
Yoga emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment and finding a sense of peace, which could help treat anxiety.
2. Helps In Boosting Your Confidence
As mentioned earlier yoga helps in the reduction of stress and anxiety levels. This results in boosting the confidence level of the individual. This is achieved through different meditation techniques to empty the mind.
You are able to make a deep internal connection with yourself which assists you in building better relationships and increases your overall awareness of your surroundings.
3. Helps In Weight Loss
Recent studies show that including yoga in our daily routine can lead to gradual weight loss. Another review of 10 Yoga Studies overweight and obese individuals found that practicing yoga helped them in reducing Body Mass Index(BMI). (Click to read the article)
Yoga also helps you in maintaining a healthier weight.
4. Mindful Eating
A recent study conducted by the University Of Washington suggests that yoga help people consciously deciding what they will eat. Resulting in the habit of Mindful Eating.
5. Increased Flexibility & Muscle Strength With Lower Injury Risk
Another benefit of including yoga in your daily life is increased flexibility. You will not be able to achieve this on your first day of practice but if you regularly practice yoga you will surely reach there. Your pains and aches will also disappear.
Yoga can help you in building muscle strength. You balance this increased strength with increased flexibility. In other ways of strength-building the individual in compromising on flexibility. Thus increasing the chance of an injury. On the other hand, since you are balancing strength with flexibility this lowers any chance of injury.
6. Improves Posture & Reduce Back And Neck Pain
If your spine is erect and straight your neck and back muscles will have to work a lot less in order to balance you. The major cause of fatigue, lower back pain, and neck pain is poor posture. By practicing different Asanas of yoga regularly you can improve your posture which will ultimately help you in reducing back and neck pain.
Research suggests that yoga may help in relieving lower back and neck pain.
7. Better Blood Circulation
Different meditation and relaxation techniques that you learn in yoga can help in better blood circulation. Yoga also helps in improving your hemoglobin level & red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Regular practice of yoga will decrease the thickness of blood which will reduce the clot-promoting proteins in the blood.
8. Helps In Reducing Inflammation
In addition to improving mental health, some studies suggest that practicing yoga may reduce inflammation as well.
9. Lower Blood Pressure
Deep breathing in meditation will result in increased lung capacity. The benefit of this increased capacity is improved endurance levels. The techniques used in yoga meditation help you in slowing down your heart rates. Which results in lower blood pressure levels.
10. Helps You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Doing a gentle yoga routine before going to bed daily can help you get better and deep sleep at night. This can also help people suffering from insomnia.
This most important benefit of yoga is that it will teach you to be present in the moment, pay attention, be more aware of your body and mind, and above all it will teach you to quiet your mind.
To get all of the above mentioned benefits you need to include yoga in your life and practice yoga on regular basis.
Do let us know in the comments below how important is yoga in your life? and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends to inspire and motivate them.