Yoga, according to the Indian subcontinent, was a mind-body exercise backed with strong religion connection. The religion element seemed to have lost its meaning as yoga spread towards the west. Today people practise yoga as physical exercise but in a studio with some relaxing music but without a spiritual connection. Or they may take the meditative aspect of mindfulness to relieve stress.
You can argue about yoga missing the point, but one thing remains constant, and you can’t deny that more people practice yoga. And there is evidence that yoga is beneficial in keeping fit and watching weight. If you consider joining a yoga class either in-person or virtually, I would recommend you read about LucyFlow website reviews at Reviews Bird UK to get motivated. You might find interest in joining virtual yoga classes that you can exercise at your convenience.
Why yoga is not just stretching
To rip the full benefits of yoga, there is the need to understand it, not just stretching. Even if you are not connecting yoga with spiritual beliefs, you can use it to improve your posture – Asana, control your breathing – Pranayama, and meditation.
Asana is more like stretching and exercise, but yoga is more than that because it includes the other two key health benefits.
It is hard to measure the benefits of yoga because of the placebo effect. Give someone a painkiller and tell them they are going to feel better; they will feel better. Give them the same pill and tell them they will feel much worse pain, and they will feel worse.
It is no different from yoga; people expect to get better with yoga; it will calm them, make them flexible and strong, and skew the results. Besides placebo, what makes the whole thing confusing is that there are different kinds of yoga. Some were focusing on posture, others on breathing and some on mindfulness. That’s why it is confusing. It is not enough to say yoga, but different yogas and not enough studies to distinguish them apart.
Benefits of yoga
Flexibility, mobility and balance: A study on 26 young male athletes proved this benefit. 13 of them joined yoga while the rest carried on with their normal lives. The results were different. The yoga group had significant improvements. And this is something every athlete might want to take part in.
Asthma and Lungs: The focus on breathing is surprisingly a benefit to asthmatic people. There is evidence that yoga led to a slight improvement in the quality of life in asthmatic people. I cannot say it is a miracle cure, but certainly, it is helpful. Other studies have proved yoga help lung function in healthy people and older women.
Cardiovascular and metabolic health: It sums up chronic lifestyle diseases in most countries around the world.
Yoga and stress
Yoga has direct benefits in controlling stress, and this is one area that has had many studies—the breathing aspects of yoga help relieve stress.
So, even for those not interested in yoga’s spiritual components, you can still gain significant health benefits of yoga.