Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The ancient Indian tradition of yoga involves a wide variety of mind – body exercises, ranging from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation. Yoga exercise may be tailored to the needs of individuals with health problems. Besides helping particular disorders, regular yoga practice also boosts energy level and improves all round well-beings.
Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and some beginners find it easier to practice because of its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it's all about your personal preferences. Yoga can treat many of other common conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine, obesity and premenstrual syndrome.
The core components of Hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:
Poses: Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
Breathing: Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.

Health Benefits of Yoga:
The potential health benefits of yoga are numerous and may include:
ü  Stress reduction
ü  Increased fitness
ü  Management of chronic health conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia etc
ü  Weight loss
While you shouldn't expect yoga to cure you or offer 100 percent relief, it can help some health conditions when combined with standard treatment. And if you already enjoy good health, yoga can be an enjoyable supplement to your regular fitness routine.

Yoga Compared to Conventional Exercise:
Parasympathetic nervous system dominates
Sympathetic nervous system dominates
Subcortical regions of brain dominate
Cortical regions of brain dominate
Slow dynamic and static movements
Rapid forceful movements
Normalization of muscle tone
Increased muscle tension
Low risk of injuring muscles and
High risk of injury
Low caloric consumption
Moderate to high caloric consumption
Effort is minimized, relaxed
Effort is maximized
Energizing (breathing is natural or controlled)
Fatiguing (breathing is taxed)
Balanced activity of opposing muscle groups
Imbalanced activity of opposing groups
Noncompetitive, process-oriented
Competitive, goal-oriented
Awareness is internal (focus is on breath and the infinite)
Awareness is external (focus is on reaching the toes, reaching the finish line, etc.)
Limitless possibilities for growth in self- awareness
Boredom factor

Yoga is generally considered safe for people of all abilities, even if you use a wheelchair or you're severely overweight. But there are some situations in which yoga might pose a risk. You may need to find an alternative to yoga or scale back your yoga poses.
See your health care provider before you begin yoga if you have any of the following conditions or situations, since complications can arise:
·         Balance problems
·         Uncontrolled high blood pressure
·         Certain eye conditions, including glaucoma
·         Severe osteoporosis
·         Pregnancy
·         Artificial joints
You may be able to practice yoga in these situations if you take certain precautions, such as avoiding certain poses or stretches. Regardless of your health status, start slowly and gently. If you develop symptoms or concerns, see your doctor to make sure you're getting benefit and not harm from yoga.



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