"yoga is as yoga does" (Elvis Presley Lyrics)

There’s nothing youthful about having a sore back, feeling overwhelmed, or losing flexibility. Whenever I don’t do yoga for a few days, I start to feel all of these. For every day I don’t do yoga, it takes two or three days to get me back on course… which is a good reason to never stop!

It is learning to stay strong even when its the most difficult thing to do. Like George Washington Carver said, "how far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life, you will have been all of these things." I try to see life from everyone's perspective, like MLK said, "an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." I am just trying to start living.

Q1. What are the physical benefits of practicing yoga?

Yoga is a powerful discipline that can improve health and fitness. Regular yoga practice has been known to increase the stamina, flexibility, stability and strength. Practicing of yoga postures also brings a feeling of well-being to the entire body by stimulating the organs and improving the circulation. As the body works more efficiently, problems like headaches, back pain, stiff hips and digestive disorders can all be alleviated. Pranayama, the breathing techniques can lower the blood pressure, increase cardiovascular efficiency and aid relaxation.

Q2. What are the mental benefits of yoga?

Just as yoga can help us increase our physical health and fitness, practicing of yoga has also been found to beneficial to our mental health. Yoga can help reduce stress, improve concentration alleviate mood swings. It brings awareness and the ability to be 'still'. Practicing pranayama helps bring mental clarity and calm.

Q3. What are the diseases that can be cured by yoga?

Yoga can be useful in reducing the effects of the diseases like hypertension, spondilytis, asthma, arthritis, slip disc, digestive disorders, menstrual disorders, mental disorders and sleeplessness and many more like these.

Q4. What is the advantage of Yoga over to other exercises?

Exercise increases strength and stamina of the muscles but Yoga affects complete body mind complex and triggers a change from negative to positive direction on the physical, mental, spiritual plane of existence.

Q5. Can Yoga delay middle age?

Yoga is the greatest form of exercise there is. After our mid-20s, the venous supply to the disks of the spine naturally atrophies.

Through yogic exercises that bend and stretch the spine, fresh blood and nerve flow revitalize all the major glands and organs. Unlike other forms of exercise, which develop fitness by stressing the body, yoga builds strength and endurance while lowering the stress hormones that age us.

Q6. Can yoga make me stronger?

It's a proven fact that yoga does makes you stronger. Some balance postures such as Tree Pose and Shoulder stand require enormous muscle control in order to prevent you from falling over. This helps to build and strengthen your muscles. The muscles you develop during yoga are more likely to be elongated, because while you are strengthening them, you are simultaneously lengthening them. You also do not focus on an isolated muscle, but actively recruit the smaller muscle groups as well. You truly work your entire body when you practice yoga. In addition to all its other benefits, yoga can help you improve muscle fitness.

Q7. Can yoga relieve my back pain?

Studies have shown that yoga is a good exercise for those suffering from back pain, particularly in the long term. Many of the postures in yoga gently strengthen the muscles in the back, as well as the abdominal muscles. Back and abdominal muscles are essential components of the muscular network of the spine, helping the body maintain proper upright posture and movement. When these muscles are well conditioned, back pain can be greatly reduced or avoided. However, not all yoga asanas can automatically relieve the pain, some might even aggravate the pain. So it is advisable to perform the poses under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher. Some helpful poses are the camel pose, corpse pose, cat stretch.

Q8. I'm stressed out - will it help me to relax?

Yes, definitely, Yoga helps in reducing physical, mental and emotional stress. Yoga is well-known for its calming effects. Because of the body/mind connection, if the muscles are relaxed by stretching, the mind will also relax, with less anxiety and better sleep patterns.

Q9. Can Yoga help cure migraines?

Migraines which are caused by the constriction and dilation of blood vessels to the brain can be made more manageable through yoga. Regular practice of yoga, including postures, pranayama and meditation can help relieve the suffering. Postures will help improve blood circulation and also relieve physical tension and stress, which may be a contributing factor to migraines.

Q10. Can Yoga treat arthritis?

Yes, yoga poses provide relief to stiff and damaged joints. Yoga's controlled movements and gentle pressures reach deep into troubled joints.

The mild form of stretching involved in the practice of yoga can help strengthen your joints which is crucial in preventing and dealing with arthritis. It also reduces stiffness and makes your joints function normally. In addition, the controlled stretches in conjunction with deep breathing exercises, relax and release the muscles that have seized up around the joints to protect them.

Q11. Can yoga treat obesity?

That depends on the type of yoga you are doing and how frequently. Very vigorous types of yoga practice, such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa are cardiovascular exercise and may help you lose weight if done regularly, along with proper diet changes. Regular practice of Yoga and controlled life style reduces obesity. Yoga has different effect on obesity, which is permanent in nature than other techniques for obesity reduction. Weight loss is permanent but one needs to practice few important techniques regularly.

The Yoga principle on healthy diet and the practice of the Asanas will help balance the endocrine system, tone the abdominal organs, stimulate both the nervous and circulatory system, and reduce stress. Yoga also helps one to gain a better understanding of ones self, leading to acceptance and appreciation which will help eliminate the psychological reasons for Obesity. The practice of Yoga deals with all the aspects of an individual: the mind, body and spirit, giving a person control over his mind and body and making the effect more permanent than other techniques.

Q12. Can yoga cure insomnia?

Yoga has a stimulatory effect on nervous system and the brain in particular. Certain yoga postures increase the blood circulation to the sleep center in the brain, which can normalize your sleep cycle. You will have a more restful sleep because of the relaxing aspect of yoga and the subsequent relieving of stress, tension and fatigue.

Q13. Can yoga bring energy?

Yoga is a brilliant energizer. The postures and other techniques stimulate your body's energetic system to make you feel more alive. In many Western exercise systems, energy is thought of as something to be used up - we talk of expending energy to burn calories. However, the yogic understanding of energy is not related to burning calories at all- in yoga, energy is related to a subtle force called prana. This subtle energy is said to flow through all living things. The practice of yogic postures assists the flow of prana and thus helps in the free circulation of throughout our energetic system.

Q14. Can yoga help me in PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS is characterized by uncomfortable mental and physical symptoms that can occur up to two weeks prior to the onset of menstruation. Several yoga poses are proven to ease menstrual pain. It also help your mind and body adapt with stress, anxiety and depression making you feel relaxed and calm, and enabling you to cope with psychological symptoms of PMS.

Q15. Can yoga help me ease stress and postpartum depression?

Yes, definitely, yoga, Kundalini yoga in particular can help reduce stress and overcome post-partum depression. It is the breathing, along with the repetition of sounds and visualizations that help balance our hormones, purging the negative chemicals that can cause some women to experience postpartum depression. After giving birth, a woman's body makes a complicated physiological switch from pregnancy to nursing, and yoga can help a woman keep a healthy relationship with her body.

Q16. Can yoga help keep a check on my blood pressure?

The relaxation and exercise components of yoga have a major role to play in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure or hyper tension. A combination of biofeedback and yogic breathing and relaxation techniques has been found to lower blood pressure and reduce the need for high blood pressure medication in people suffering from it.

Q17. I'm stressed out - will it help me to relax?

Yes, definitely, Yoga helps in reducing physical, mental and emotional stress. Yoga is well-known for its calming effects. Because of the body/mind connection, if the muscles are relaxed by stretching, the mind will also relax, with less anxiety and better sleep patterns.

Q18. How does Yoga help in my everyday life?

In this modern city, there is hardly anybody who doesn't suffer from some kind of stress. He is always in search of sailing the ship on the way of happiness and peace of mind. The stable mind and well tuned body can give him a real joy which does not vanish like our materialistic happiness. These things can be achieved through Yoga. Yoga can control the working of mind. Once you begin to practice regularly, yoga will help you to live your life with renewed positivism and enthusiasm.

Q19. Can Yoga improve my personality?

The physical development as well as psychological improvement can be obtained by Yoga. The proportionate body structure can lead to increase your confidence. The stability of mind, increase in the concentration of the mind can be obtained with the help of Yoga.

Q20. Will yoga help me in playing my game (e.g. tennis) better?

Yoga can be tremendously beneficial to your game. Yoga poses stretch and strengthen the muscles and that increases your reach and power. Yogic breathing expands lung capacity and purifies blood. Yogic meditation helps the player to become calmer and centered in whichever game they are playing.


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