Yoga and health are connected very close. The source of any disease is situated in the mind. Disturbances in the normal functioning of the intellectual, mental and emotional spheres are manifested in the form of a physical ailment, unless you eliminate them in time. Yoga teaches us to control our body, mind and emotions integratively. All the benefits of yoga for health is caused by this holistic capability of complex effects on the human being. For example, most of ailments have their origin in stress. Yoga and stress are connected also. All the benefits of yoga for health are very helpful to release stress and as well for treatment many other diseases.
Yoga and stress
Everybody knows that the daily stress and psychological oppression of various problems and unresolved issues cause disease. But how do they do it exactly? What is the mechanism? The functions of our body are controlled by a complex interplay between various hormones, enzymes, and chemicals. The production of these chemicals is regulated by the hormonal center (hypophysis, hypothalamus and pineal gland), which is located in our brain.
The brain acts after receiving the signals from the mind. A calm and relaxed mind sends to the brain normal, healthy pulses. If the mind exists in the situation of the constant stress it generates chaotic impulses that disrupt hormonal functioning of the brain center. In the beginning, these abnormalities lead to minor metabolic defects, then they intensify gradually and begin to play a major role in our body, causing the emergence of a range of diseases. I suppose you’ve guessed already how yoga and stress are connected. The main goal of yoga practice is training the skills to control our mind, thoughts and emotions. Many of the benefits of yoga for health are founded on this amazing ability.
For example, let’s look at how stress leads to serious problems such as high blood pressure, clogging of blood vessels, increased cholesterol level, angina and other diseases of cardiovascular system.
Recent medical studies have shown that hypertension, diabetes and heart problems are not different diseases. They are the part of a single syndrome. Diabetes has common etiology with hypertension that shares a common etiology with heart diseases. This means that any ailment can not be treated separately from others, they are in close contact with each other. Furthermore, the state of mind combines them too. Which of the diseases will declare itself first? It depends on the specific situation in the life of every person, including his or her temper, frequency and severity of stress. One thing is clear: stress has a devastating impact on the metabolic and endocrine processes in each cell of our body.
So, how to prevent disease? One of the reliable ways is using of the benefits of yoga for health. Connecting yoga and stress consciously, you release stress.
If the mind is the place of origin of the disease, we first of all have to work with our mind, seeking to avoid the development of ailment. To prevent the disease, ideally we need to have a relaxed state of mind. This relaxed state can be achieved through the practice of yoga.
Knowingly yoga is considered as a spiritual practice primarily. The benefits of yoga for health, first of all, is that it results in physical and mental balance, harmony and integration. If a person is already suffering from some diseases, yoga can help break the cycle of harmful psychological and mental patterns and restore health.
The practice of yoga asanas (static poses) and kriyas (dynamic exercises) leads to a relaxed state of mind. The most useful yoga postures are simple exercises. The benefits of yoga for health are that the asanas not only strengthen muscles, but also stretch them. Stretched muscles relax the mind. This is the mechanism of salutary interrelation yoga and stress.
Yoga as a system can not be imagined without pranayama — breathing techniques. Any excitement, anxiety and fears speed up our breath. This means that our breath is directly related to our consciousness. Through the practice of special breathing exercises we learn to calm our restless mind. The benefits of yoga for health can not be used without pranayama.
So, by perfecting the mental and emotional realms, the practice of yoga has a vital importance in the prevention of diseases and restoring health.