Zumba workshops, bhangra workouts, first moves and many other fads come and go every year regarding physical fitness. But one fitness regime that has remained constant through the years is the practice of Yoga.
Many people have talked about Yoga as a Hindu spiritual practice. Traditionally, Yoga was derived from the religious and spiritual traditions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. However, in the modern world, Yoga is seen as a science with many health benefits, including emotional wellness. Such was the impact of Yoga on the body & mind of the practitioner that everyone from Bikram to Bharat Thakur and even Ramdev devised their unique techniques for practising Yoga and preaching them.
Khloe Kardashian’s Goat Yoga was just one of them, where Yogis and Yoginis interact with baby goats while doing Yoga. We can’t deny that this type of Yoga certainly would come with its health benefits with animal therapy attached. But yoga, no matter what kind or form, has tremendous health benefits.
Effects of Yoga on the Brain
It was found during several euro-imaging sessions that Yoga increases grey matter volume in the Insula and Hippocampus parts of the human brain. The Insula plays a role in maintaining the balance of the body, and the Hippocampus is part of the brain responsible for learning, encoding, storing and retrieving memory. Increased activity in the grey matter suggests high activity in these areas after practising Yoga.
There is also increased activation of the Pre-Frontal cortex, the brain area responsible for cognitive tasks such as logical thinking, decision making and reasoning. It also changes functional connectivity in the default network of the brain. When this default, the network mode is changed, new connectivity is formed, and unique thought processes will generate new and more positive human behaviour.
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Benefits of Yoga Asanas
An Asana is a pose in the practice of Yoga. There are 84 Asanas in Yoga that focuses on the body and other parts.
Practising different types of asanas can help improve muscle tone, flexibility, strength, stamina, movement of the body, toning the organs, blood circulation, stimulating the immune system, reducing fat, improving concentration and creativity, and improving physical & mental well-being.
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What Not to Do in Yoga
While Yoga is considered a ‘one-size-fits-all’ workout, the truth is far removed from that. Several Asanas and Kriyas are not advised to people with certain health conditions. Here are some don’ts that you should know about whenever venturing out with that Yoga mat:
Never Practice Yoga after Meal
Like any other exercise, exercising right after eating can lead to bloating or muscle cramps. Yoga is a practice of relaxation, and you should ensure that your body isn’t all stuffed up with food or drinks before you practice Yoga.
Never Practice Yoga During Illness
Doing Yoga when not physically fit will only make it worse. This goes back to the neurobiological aspect of the body. When you are ill, your immune system is focused on healing the body. Yoga will use your energy and make you more tired, leading to more significant problems for your health.
Never Practice Yoga in an Extreme Environment
Practising Yoga when it’s too hot or cold will not increase the benefits of Yoga. Traditional Yoga practitioners believe that doing Yoga in a natural environment is the best way to do Yoga.
Never Practice Yoga During Menstruation and Pregnancy
Practising Yoga during menstruation and pregnancy can sometimes harm your body more than reasonable. This is because some Yoga poses can lead to more bleeding and vascular congestion.
Never Go to a Gym After Practicing Yoga
Going to a gym after Yoga is not a good idea. Yoga makes your muscle relaxed and gives you new flexibility. Muscles and tissues will take 7 to 8 hours to regain muscle strength. Exercising in a gym aims to tone and contract the muscle; hence, doing sets with dumbbells after yoga sessions will only make muscles weak.
Thus, no matter the benefits of any workout, it is always advisable to connect with experts in the domain to help you understand what’s good for you—our advice: don’t just follow a video or fad online and jump into Yoga. Get help from a certified Yoga professional before you stretch yourself into that impressive yoga pose.