Here are some of the facts on yoga and how it affects positively on your health and mind. The Human Body & Mind Since the topic here is to know more about the effects of yoga on health, let us start with the first instrument -- the human body. We all know that the body is a collection of nervous systems, heart, liver, kidneys and several other glands. If the body is kept healthy, the mind is also kept healthy. In other words, the well being of the mind depends on the health condition of the body. The state of the mind mostly depends on the chemical process that happens in these organs in the body. If you examine closely that when you are suffering with fever, the mind gets lazy, you won't be able to gain more concentration and the routine work gets disrupted. This makes it clear that the condition of the mind is completely depended on the well being of the body. From yogic point of view, body is the instrument that helps the human being to start the process of understanding him/herself. While doing yoga asanas or the body postures, the glands located in the body are stimulated and it ensure the proper functioning of these glands. Each organ in the body has a designated role. Whenever any of the organs is not able to function properly, the system is disturbed resulting in some kind of illness. Asanas were formulated specifically to stimulate these organs so that they do their job properly in the body. Yoga asanas make the body flexible by releasing the tensions in the joints. The spinal cord is given utmost importance, because the effects of the yoga asanas on the body start with a strong spinal cord. Another role of the asanas is to guarantee proper blood circulation, proper functioning of the nervous system, respiratory organs, oxygenation, digestion, etc. Yoga never demands stressful effort to perform any of the asanas. One needs to do the asana only according to his/her ability. But gradually, the flexibility of the body is achieved and performing asanas becomes easy. Another factor is that while doing yoga asanas, the breathing is automatically controlled or regulated. This helps to keep the breathing rate at the normal state. Oxygenation works properly by pushing out the carbon dioxide in the process of inhalation and exhalation. There are asanas that have an effect on the abdomen. These asanas while practiced removes the excess gas from the stomach thus keeping us away from gastric disorders and digestive diseases. Reverse asanas helps to keep the blood circulation balanced by ensuring that the blood reaches each and every corner of the body. How yoga is related with endocrine glands A complete human being is a combination of mind that is subtle and the body which is gross. The life force that sustain the bodily functions and other energy is called as "Prana". The role of prana is to control functions in the gross body and subtle movements of the mind. When both these forces go together, then the whole human system is perfected and is balanced. Whenever there is a malfunction of the organs in the body, it affects the other systems as well as the mind. Abnormal secretion of hormones or malfunctioning in the detoxification process can create damage in the system. The above mentioned energy centers or chakras are closely related with these glands. Chakras have a say over these glands and as long as the chakras are balanced, then the body functions work properly. One of the best examples can be a case of someone affected with diabetes. If there is abnormality in the functioning of pancreas, production of insulin is affected and the sugar level goes high. Yoga practices help to keep pancreas active and free of stress. Through these practices, endocrine system function properly. Mental emotions are highly influenced by the functioning of these glands and it is essential to keep these under control through yogic practices. How to lose weight by practicing yoga postures? Several asanas like bending forward / backward helps to lose the excess weight created by the fat. The breathing process in the human body and the yoga asanas are interrelated. The breathing process to be followed in yoga is that while bending forward, exhale and inhale while bending backward. Hold the breath during the "middle" positions. There is no limitation or restriction in the number of bending and holding the breath. There should not be any stress involved in this and do as per your comfort and convenience. Only through a gradual practice, one can perform a complete bending asana. So do it according to each person's comfort level without any strain. You have to be patient and do it regularly to see the results. When to practice:
- Yoga asanas need your stomach to be empty or near empty. So choose morning hours for the practice.
- Duration depends on your time availability, but practice consciously even if the time is less
- Concentration shall be on the breath and the body part as mentioned for each asana
- More times you do, the greater the benefits
- Each asana may be practiced for not more than 6 to 8 times a day