Yoga - Healing

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Use Yoga to Lighten Your Load
Yoga means union. It is a union of the mind, body and breath, so all aspects of your life are impacted by your practice.

   

Anyone can do yoga - no matter how young or old you are, whether you're a couch potato or a professional athlete. Size and fitness level do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose. The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection. 

Yoga therapy is successful because of the balance created in the nervous and endocrine systems which directly influences all the other systems and organs of the body.
                            
Yoga acts both as a curative and preventive therapy. The very essence of yoga lies in attaining mental peace, improved concentration powers, a relaxed state of living and harmony in relationships.
Yoga is one of the best exercises for physical and emotional healing. Its benefits are numerous, and it can be practiced by anyone who is interested in it. It can be used to de-stress. Stress has been known to cause chronic diseases such as reproductive problems, heart problems, immune system problems, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. Because yoga also helps in healing the mind, the healthy mind can influence a much healthier body.

    

Yoga’s effects on the body are tremendous as well. Your muscles are exercised by gentle stretching and relaxing. Your breathing and blood circulation improves as well. You will develop stronger muscles, thus, a stronger body, which is an effective tool against illnesses whether viral or stress-related in nature.
                             

Relaxation is brought about by yoga through breathing techniques and strong but gentle poses. The poses target the parasympathetic nervous system, a useful component of the autonomic nervous system that deals with the rest-and-repose mechanism of the body. Thus, optimal function of this component would ensure that the damage sustained from too much stress is contained. Stress can manifest through sudden heart rate increase, shallow breathing, excessive sweating, and muscle tension. While these are normal reactions of the body, sometimes, stress can be too much. So much so that the normal coping mechanisms of the body through the parasympathetic nervous system are arrested, and we succumb to illnesses. Yoga is an effective guard against this overload. It restores our body to its natural balance.

                                

Stress is also the reason behind increased cortisol levels throughout the body. This leads to immune system suppression, which in turn will lead chronic diseases such as those mentioned above as well as sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and loss of sex drive. In addition, wear and tear on our organs can be attributed to stress.

 Yoga’s relaxation techniques can counteract against the physical manifestation of stress. In addition, it can improve the performance of the circulatory, digestive, reproductive, immune, and glandular systems, to name a few. The various yoga practices serve to calm the mind. From a wellspring of relaxed concentration-the hallmark of yoga-comes inner peace, heightened creativity, and awareness of our essential nature. 


         


The asanas, or physical poses, in yoga enhances the circulation of blood and fluids to different parts of the body. Its breathing exercises improve the function of the lungs, as well as restore our peace of mind. Many people who have tried practicing yoga regularly become less dependent on medication and other forms of treatment. While this may be appealing, remember that the positive effects of yoga do not happen overnight. The therapeutic effects of yoga are felt in the long run, but if you are patient and continue practicing yoga, you will begin to feel healthier than you have ever felt before.

                               

 Studies have shown that the practice of yoga - including breathing techniques, postures, meditation and chanting  - have beneficial effects on the emotional well-being and mental acuity of depression sufferers; it also enhances the mood and overall sense of well-being in people without depression. The great news is that yogic practices offer some of the same benefits as antidepressants but without any the side-effects.
                      

Identifying your emotions is the first step to a rich and healthy emotional life. Use a number or all of these methods. Find the ones that suit you and use them to help you in your journey towards emotional health. Awareness is the first step of change!


     


 The Yoga Mat - A Place for Cancer Care and Recovery.


Yoga supports the body, mind, and spirit for people affected by cancer, including patients during and beyond treatments as well as caregivers. The practice of yoga offers physical, psychological, and spiritual support to the whole person.

Yoga classes taught specifically for people affected by cancer are becoming increasingly common. These classes not only teach yoga, but may also serve as a great place to find camaraderie from others who are in a similar situation.

Although it may not be possible to find a yoga class specifically for people affected by cancer that is convenient for you, other options are available. If you are still in treatment, or experiencing any challenging side effects from treatment, be cautious and ask lots of questions to find a class suited to your needs.


    


Yoga supports the body, mind, and spirit for people affected by cancer, including patients during and beyond treatments as well as caregivers. The practice of yoga offers physical, psychological, and spiritual support to the whole person.

Yoga classes taught specifically for people affected by cancer are becoming increasingly common. These classes not only teach yoga, but may also serve as a great place to find camaraderie from others who are in a similar situation.

Although it may not be possible to find a yoga class specifically for people affected by cancer that is convenient for you, other options are available. If you are still in treatment, or experiencing any challenging side effects from treatment, be cautious and ask lots of questions to find a class suited to your needs.


More important than the style of yoga, however, is the instructor.



There are many yoga instructors with additional training in yoga therapy or a medical profession such as nursing or physical therapy.

General advice for starting yoga:

  • Find an instructor who encourages you to accept where you are each day, listen to your body for your limits, and who will not push you to do anything that does not feel right to you.
  • All styles of yoga may not be appropriate for people coping with or recovering from cancer. Take precautions. Also know that there is much to be gained from smaller as well as larger physical movements.
  • It is advisable to consult with your doctor before engaging in yoga.



Yoga for:


Body Awareness                                                      

Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.


Stress Reduction:                                                

Physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is particularly true of yoga. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you started.


Yoga clears your mind and helps you focus your attention.


       


During your practice, you are focusing your attention on your breath and turning inward. This concentration allows you to withdraw from the distractions in your environment. A significant benefit of yoga practice is that you can take this ability to focus your attention into every aspect of your life. You can be fully present with whatever you are doing instead of worrying about tomorrow or regretting yesterday. Not only will your actions be more productive, you can also enjoy them in a greater way.   


       


 Pain Management.


Yoga is believed to reduce pain by helping the brain`s pain center regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body. Breathing exercises used in yoga can also reduce pain. Because muscles tend to relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension. Awareness of breathing helps to achieve calmer, slower respiration and aid in relaxation and pain management.



 Yoga can help release stuck emotions.  


Often stuck emotions find their way into our bodies. Remember, your mind and body are one, and if you are suppressing any painful emotions, you will often experience that as pain in some part of your body. A benefit of yoga is that by breathing deeply into places in your body that hold tension, you can help release the emotions that may be buried there. You can then examine these emotions and let go of those that do not serve you.

Also, as you take your body past the limits of where it has been, you start to feel that you can move past other limitations in your life as well. You gain a sense of peace and tranquility.         

Most yoga practices include some time for meditation. Regular meditation helps your mind reach a state of inner calm. It helps you gain control over your thinking instead of being at the mercy of wayward thoughts.

As you can see, yoga benefits every area of your life. Maintain a regular yoga practice, and you will see for yourself, how yoga can benefit you too.

Start by going to a yoga class. Look for a teacher who challenges you but does not push, who offers modifications, and who works one-on-one with students. Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move. Use a yoga mat for cushioning and to keep from slipping. 


Remember one thing: "No pain, no gain" is NOT the yoga way. If it hurts, stop. Patience and feeling good about yourself and your world is the way of the yogi.


     


Physiological Benefits of Yoga

  • Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Reduces sleep disturbance
  • Manages fatigue
  • Increases vigor
  • Manages pain
  • Manages nausea
  • Maintains immunity levels
  • Respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood Pressure decreases
  • Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  • Respiratory efficiency increases
  • Gastrointestinal function normalizes
  • Endocrine function normalizes
  • Excretory functions improve
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  • Breath-holding time increases
  • Joint range of motion increase
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Balance improves  

Psychological Benefits of Yoga


      

  • Reduces stress levels
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Increases relaxation
  • Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
  • Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
  • Social adjustment increases
  • Anxiety and Depression decrease
  • Hostility decreases
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Attention improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Self-actualization increase
  • Social skills increases
  • Self-acceptance increase
  • Attention improves
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Learning efficiency improves

 Laughter therapy

  Benefit of Meditation

 

 

 

 Irish Yoga Association


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