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Create Harmony

Yoga's mind-body-spirit connection

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Create Harmony

Yoga is an ancient Indian art, known to be about 5,000 years old, which finds its basis in spiritual development. It is not a religion, but rather a well-stocked toolbox for improving and unifying mental, spiritual, and physical health.

Yoga is an ancient Indian art, known to be about 5,000 years old, which finds its basis in spiritual development. It is not a religion, but rather a well-stocked toolbox for improving and unifying mental, spiritual, and physical health.

The view behind yoga is that the mind and body are one, and if harmony can be found, the body will heal itself. Therefore, yoga is seen as therapeutic. The integration of controlled breathing, imagery, meditation, and movement all rolled into one ensures that the body is given attention from head to toe and from the inside out.

There are many different styles of yoga, and all provide amazing health benefits. The ancient theories and principles of this discipline that connect the mind and body continue to be studied by modern science. Substantial research has been conducted and results have shown the numerous health benefits achieved through yoga practice. The information gathered can be grouped into physiological, psychological, and biochemical benefits.

Physiological Benefits

The benefits that improve how our bodies work are referred to as physiological. Yoga has shown improvements in muscle tone and flexibility, increased cardiovascular efficiency, improved sleep patterns, increased energy levels, improved posture and balance, increased immune function, and decreased pain levels. Surprisingly, there are other benefits that one might not even think to consider such as improved dexterity and reaction time, increased hand-eye coordination, and improved depth perception. It seems science has dug up some pretty nifty reasons to give yoga a try.

Psychological Benefits

The philosophy of yoga strongly encompasses the belief that our minds and bodies are connected and should be working together in harmony. When this connection is weak or lacking, there is disarray and often the result is poor health. When the mind and body find unity, then optimal health is achieved. From this union come many benefits including self-acceptance, improved mood and social skills, decreased anxiety and depression, improved memory and concentration, and, for those of us who see life as a journey toward enlightenment, yoga also improves learning ability.

Biochemical Benefits

For those interested in the fine-tuned inner workings of the human body, it’s exciting to know that researchers have also taken a look at how yoga affects us at the cellular level. Amazingly, the positive changes are immense. Research has found that taking part in yoga regularly can decrease glucose, sodium and triglyceride levels, improve “good” and reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, and increase hemoglobin and lymphocyte counts. The list goes on, but you must have the basic idea by nowyoga is really, really good for you!

From basic changeslike weight loss, stronger muscles, and improved flexibilityto mental changes such as better mood, more positive outlook, and stronger self-esteem; and even to changes that can only be seen under the microscope, like lowered overall cholesterol levels and a stronger immune system, the benefits of yoga stretch throughout the human body and its psyche.

It’s not surprising to learn that, to many, yoga is a way of life. It is practised for good physical and mental health, but is also loved for stress management and its ability to remove clutter from the mind. True followers of this discipline not only enjoy better health, but feel they are living life in a more meaningful way since yoga, based on unity and wholeness, aims to integrate our physical health with an understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

So while yoga may be a choice form of exercise, it is also a great deal more than that. It is a system of movements and mind-frames intertwined to alleviate stress, improve fitness, and bring about universal harmony of the mind, body, and spirit.

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