Yoga: Exercising Mind and Body

Yoga is an exercise that can strengthen both your mind and body. It incorporates breathing into a number of stretching esque exercises to induce relaxation and ease stress. The practice of yoga has been around since the 5th century BCE, however, modern yoga was popularized around 1960. Originally, yoga was exclusively a spiritual practice, meant to bring the mind closer to nature, and strengthen discernment, awareness, and consciousness of one’s self.

Yoga for Exercise

Yoga as a form of exercise is what we have become so familiar with today. This form of exercise can be greatly beneficial for any person.

Possibly the greatest benefit of yoga is reduction of stress. One study followed 24 women who believed they were emotionally distressed. After a three month program of yoga, the women were found to have significantly lower cortisol level (the major stress hormone). This showed researchers that yoga can indeed lower stress levels significantly.

Yoga may also reduce inflammation in the body. On top of the mental benefits of yoga, studies have shown that yoga may indeed aid in fighting inflammation caused by a number of things. Inflammation occurs naturally in response to many conditions. It is a necessary part of healing for the body, but it can become chronic. In cases of chronic inflammation, it can lead to diseases such as diabetes or cancer.

One study in 2015 divided participants into two groups. One group practiced yoga regularly, and the other group did not. BOth groups participated in exercise to induce stress on the body. At the end of the study, the group participating in yoga was found to have lower inflammatory markers than the group not participating in yoga.

Yoga has a chance of improving your overall quality of life. This increasingly common practice is being used by people fighting a number of diseases to battle their brutal symptoms. For instance, breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have claimed that yoga has aided in their symptoms of nausea and vomiting, thus increasing their overall quality of life.

This form of exercise is growing in popularity for a reason. It is incredibly beneficial for many people. Whether is is reducing stress, fighting inflammation, or simply increasing quality of life, millions of people turn to yoga every day as a sort of spiritual exercise, strengthening both the body and the mind.