I have been a big advocate of yoga for awhile now. There are many different types such as vinyasa, hatha, or even fitness yoga for a better workout. I was never a very athletic person but always found yoga to be a great workout. It was not too strenuous of a workout but for some reason I always left feeling refreshed and better than I did before. Harvard University Medical School decided to look into the benefits of yoga and published a series of articles discussing the positive effects of yoga on the mind as well as the body. The first article describes how yoga can improve body image. I can agree with this because practicing yoga, even for a short period of time, helps me feel more in touch with both my mind and my body. Besides helping feeling a connection to the body, helps with body image because yoga promotes mindfulness in everyday life which transfers over to eating habits. People become aware of what they are putting in their bodies, and this results to healthier eating and weight loss. Although yoga did not change my eating habits I agree with the idea given by the article. In yoga we are taught to be good to our body and eating junk food is not recommended. Yoga did, however, make me more aware of how I was overeating. The second article by Harvard Medical School goes more into depth about the health benefits. It describes how practicing yoga can decrease chances of heart disease, improve cardiovascular health, and lower blood pressure. One of the main components of yoga is meditation and relaxation. This helps to lower of blood pressure as well as cholesterol which can lead to a lessened chance of cardiovascular diseases. This is proven by a study done by the author of the second article. After participating in yoga classes on average it was found people lower cholesterol by 12 points and blood pressure by 5 points (Harvard Medical School). In an article from the Huffington Post, it was found that just 20 minutes of yoga can improve memory and strengthen the brain. This was shown in a study done by the University of Illinois. Thirty female students participated in a yoga class and were tested, then took a aerobic workout class and were tested again. The students were found to do better on the test after yoga, with better focus and a higher accuracy rate.
Yoga is not just a form of stretching. Yoga is a workout for both the mind and the body. It helps you feel relaxed and calm in everyday life. This calmness results in the lowering of stress and blood pressure. Instead of taking various medications and going to doctors, yoga has the same or even better effect. It turns into a workout I actually look forward to. Related to how we learned about prayer healing people, many are skeptical about the benefits of yoga. But it has helped me and many others have a more positive view of ourselves and the world around us.