Guest Post by Om Singh
Do you know what’s more magical than Aladdin’s flying mat? It is the Yoga mat. It’s time to come out of the illusion of the sorcery and dive deep into this amazing ancient art of health and prosperity. Yoga is not a new thing and has been with us for a very long time now. Be it about any chronic ailment, diseases, mental health issues, or even emotional turbulence – Yoga is a friend forever. However, in a world where we pop pills for every other problem, this practice still awaits its share of admiration and faith. Yoga & mindfulness has the power to improve the quality of your life. Now by “quality of life”, many contexts come into being, for instance, your employment status, physical fitness, mental health, food habits, and so on. Can you consider Yoga for quality life? Is it really a holistic approach towards attaining better health, overall?
Nothing bogs you down more than the conjured-up emotions that percolates your stable mental health and disrupts the harmony like a “slow silent killer”. Emotional stress is an outcome of our own choices, such as workplace pressure, failed relationships, responsibilities, money, and so on. Really, it is impossible to block these issues from entering our lives. Considering Yoga for that much-needed disconnect can be beneficial for your overall lifestyle and social life. A test involved 24 emotionally stressed women who were asked to go for a 3-month long Yoga program. The results of the test were positive in terms of efficacy and reduction of the stress hormones in their bodies called Cortisol. It was proved that when used in conjunction with other techniques like meditation and intuitive eating Yoga can change your life for good.
“That subject stresses me out!”, “Watching that manager walk-by gives me goosebumps”, “I sweat in my scalp during late hours”…etc. These are not complaints but anxiety disguised as common everyday issues. Every day, life brings a new set of struggles and throws curve balls that hit us hard. It is important to stay calm and patient enough to take a step back every time a new stressful situation arrives at the porch. But this annoying human nature of straining every bit of the nerve seldom stops you from staying composed. Try Yoga and experience the bliss. 20-30 minutes of daily Yoga practice has the power to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which means no mood swings, less stress hormones, and better sleep. People who do Yoga everyday experience less or no Anxiety attacks than the ones who do absolutely no physical activity.
Arthritis, Acne, Indigestion or Cough, all these health conditions come from some form of internal inflammation. Not to forget, these ailments can severely hamper the quality of life. In simpler words, anything you ingest or include in your lifestyle that does not vibe well with your biology may lead to an inflammation. Some of the early signs of inflammation are rashes, skin conditions, or sudden pain in the muscles. People who experience morning sickness or low immunity also suffer from some form of unattended inflammation in their bodies. With that said, Yoga can actually be an effective medicine here. Certain Yogic poses and meditation can lower down the inflammation markers in the body and dampen the production of mucous, certain parasites and redundant allergies.
You need no special disability to get a heart issue. Nowadays, anyone can have a problem with their hearts, encounter incidents of heart attacks, and cholesterol. Studies prove that Yoga & meditation can help people with a fragile heart functioning and avert chances of any severe damage. A brief study involving 113 patients with heart issues proved that a healthy lifestyle and regular Yoga practice for one year positively affected the conditions, lowered cholesterol levels, balanced the heartbeats, and significantly improved the quality of life. The patients saw a whopping 26% reduction in their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Depression seeps in when we refuse to reflect and address our emotions.The art of Yoga has been recognized as an anti-depressant for people who struggle to manage their mood and suffer from the consequences of some past-trauma and agony. It is found that people living under frequent bouts of depression have elevated levels of Cortisol hormones, which is the stress hormone. The increased secretion of this hormone blocks the happy area of the Central Nervous System, suppresses appetite, triggers mood swings, and much more. With time, the individual retreats into gloom and blocks the light. Yoga has the power to deactivate the hormone and increase the production of Serotonin, the happy hormone.
Chronic Body Pain
By now, you know that some sort of inflammation leads to chronic body pain, which refuses to respond to medicines. Persistence pain in different parts of the body can take a ghostly turn and lead to ailments like arthritis and injuries. A study asked 42 respondents suffering from ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’ to go for an eight-weekstrict Yoga program. After the completion of the program, the condition of the respondents improved drastically. There was less joint pain, improved grip strength and the wrist was moving with ease. Apart from this study, there are many other tests that showcase the efficacy of Yoga for people with Arthritis and Osteoporosis.
The ‘8-hour sleep for better health’ is not fallacy but a waking reality. Just like the ‘8-glass of a water a day’ theory, a better sleep pattern is important for maintaining good health, skin, hair, digestion and what not. A stressful lifestyle is the number one reason why people suffer from ailments, such as Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and even lack of sleep due to fear, depression or other mental health concerns. The art of Yoga & meditation is a proven tool to pacify the symptoms and help with these sleep-related issues. A significant study conducted in 2005 revealed that people who do Yoga everyday are fitter both physically and mentally. These people sleep better and have proper eating habits, and hormones in-check.
A clear headspace is integral to better decision making, choices, and actions. However, a chaotic lifestyle and monotony experienced in daily lives blocks you from attaining that. In such scenarios, it is important for you to disconnect from cacophony and move to a place that is quiet and serene. Nowadays, travel companies are busy merging Yoga & meditation with their regular travel packages and presenting them as Yoga retreats or wellness vacations for consumers. A Yoga retreat is a good way to make a lifestyle shift, include Yoga in daily regimen and explore an unknown destination as a bonus. Quite popular amongst travelers, 2019 is going to be the year of these peaceful retreats.
Balance & Mobility
Without balance, it is impossible to think about a qualitative lifestyle. Ailments, such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and Brain Fog can interfere with the balance and general physical mobility. A study involving 66 elderly respondents taking up Yoga as a workout regimen revealed that the daily practice helped them with their balance issues, and problems related to movement. These respondents saw an improvement in their flexibility, performance, other measures of physical balance and mobility.
Older people, asthmatics, obese, and people with food intolerances have one symptom in common – breathing issues. Although, each of these ailments require a separate set of diagnosis and medications, Yoga may still be considered to be a common approach towards addressing this concern. A study involved 200 college-goers and was later asked to follow a 15-week Yoga program, where they were taught different poses and breathing techniques. At the end of the program, these respondents showed tremendous improvements in their breathing capacity and lung functionality. An improved breathing pattern helps with endurance and optimal heart health.
Have you heard about people trapped in “Eat-Purge-Repeat” spiral? It is true that more than 50% of young generation across the globe suffers from some form of an eating disorder. Bulimia, purging, emotional eating, and depression are some of the common eating disorders or health concerns of the recent times. It is important to understand that these disorders are an outcome of several underlying medical conditions, such as anxiety, destroyed gut health, wrong food choices, and lack of certain vitamins like B12, A, D, and other fat-soluble vitamins. A change in diet and consistent Yoga practice can heal the damaged gut, which means no brain fog, increased appetite, and better food choices.
Choose Yoga for quality life and stay youthful.
Om Singh is blogging at Retreat Kula, a website that offers best yoga retreats and yoga teacher training for yogis around the world. He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back. Since the last ten years that he is on the go, He is sharing his travel experiences by writing about them.