Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union”; the union of body and mind, the union of man and his environment, the union of man and the universe.
“This practice connects us to our planet, which so desperately needs our protection. And it reveals our common humanity helping us to understand that, despite our differences, we are one,” said the Secretary-General of the United Nations on June 21 in a video message marking the International Day of Yoga,
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It is estimated that at least 500 million people around the world practice yoga as a way to integrate self-care activities into their daily lives. According to a study by the American Yoga Alliance, 36.7 million people practiced it in 2018, including meditation-related activities.
Yoga is important to health because of its ability to address holistic aspects of physical, mental and emotional well-being. A holistic yoga approach recognizes the relationship between body, mind and spirit, promoting a holistic vision of health that is not limited to physical fitness but also considers mental and emotional health.
The various postures (asanas) and movements of yoga offer a complete physical exercise aimed at developing flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. This variety promotes the development of muscles and bones, improves blood circulation and the functioning of the cardiovascular system, and helps prevent injuries.
In addition to the physical benefits, this practice has a profound effect on stress management. It includes relaxation techniques, mindful breathing, and meditation that are effective in reducing anxiety and improving nervous system regulation. which can lead to a healthier response to stress.
Improving flexibility and mobility is a central pillar of yoga. With regular practice, muscles and joints become more flexible, which not only prevents injury, but also increases range of motion and promotes good posture.
Emphasis on conscious breathing (pranayama) improves lung function and breathing capacity. This attention to breathing not only benefits the respiratory system, but also promotes overall relaxation and emotional well-being.
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In addition, this practice has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain such as back pain and arthritis. Certain postures and relaxation techniques can relieve muscle tension and greatly reduce the perception of pain.
Its regular practice has also been linked to improved sleep quality. Relaxation helps reduce mental arousal and promotes a relaxed state, which can promote more restful sleep.
In addition to the physical and mental aspects, yoga also promotes emotional health. Promoting self-awareness, mindfulness and acceptance. In addition, it can reduce symptoms of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve overall well-being.
Ultimately, yoga promotes healthy lifestyle habits by encouraging attention to nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management. Together, these factors contribute to improving the quality of life and longevity in general.
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In connection with all of the above, the World Health Organization has repeatedly asked countries to encourage physical activity among citizens through such practices. Since sedentary lifestyle is one of the ten most common causes of death in the world, and a major contributor to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Health benefits of yoga
- Holistic approach: Yoga recognizes the relationship between body, mind and spirit. By focusing on balancing these aspects, yoga promotes a holistic approach to health, which means it’s not just about physical fitness, but mental and emotional health as well.
- Complete physical exercise: Various postures (asanas) and movements of yoga are aimed at flexibility, strength, balance and physical endurance. It promotes muscle and bone development, improves circulation and cardiovascular function, and helps prevent injury.
- Stress Reduction: Yoga includes relaxation techniques, mindful breathing, and meditation that are effective in reducing stress and anxiety. These practices can help regulate the nervous system and improve the response to stress.
- Flexibility and mobility: Regular yoga practice can improve muscle and joint flexibility. This not only helps prevent injury, but also improves range of motion and posture.
- Respiratory function improvement: An emphasis on conscious breathing (pranayama) in yoga can improve lung function and breathing capacity. It is good for both the respiratory system and general relaxation.
- Pain control: Yoga has been used as a complementary therapy in the treatment of chronic pain such as back pain and arthritis. Relaxation postures and techniques can help relieve muscle tension and reduce the perception of pain.
- Sleep Improvement: The regular practice of yoga and the relaxation it causes can promote better sleep by reducing mental arousal and promoting relaxation.
- Mental and emotional health: Yoga encourages self-awareness, mindfulness, and acceptance, which can have a positive impact on mental and emotional health. It can help reduce symptoms of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve overall well-being.
- Promotion of social links: Participation in yoga classes can provide an opportunity to build social bonds and create a sense of community, which can be beneficial for mental and emotional health.
- Healthy lifestyle: Yoga promotes healthy habits in everyday life such as attention to nutrition, regular exercise and stress management. Together, these factors contribute to improved quality of life and longevity.
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Mrs Vanessa Ortiz