The health and fitness sector had a valuation of $81 billion in 2020. These figures increase by the year; by 2028, the market is expected to reach a value of $136.59 billion.
The statistics show that more people are embracing health and fitness, whether that’s taking morning runs, doing barbells, or doing yoga.
One way or the other, people are determined to maintain good health; physically, mentally, and spiritually.
But why do people do yoga? As it increases in popularity, studies show that 90 percent of the people who go for yoga do it for health, physical fitness, stress relief, and flexibility.
The History of Yoga
Yoga is a combination of poses, meditation, and breathing exercises aimed at stress reduction and relaxation. Its history has some controversy as some researchers suggest that it dates back to 5000 years ago, while others imply that it can be traced back 10,000 years. Despite the controversy surrounding when it began, its origin is evident.
The practice was developed in Northern India around 500 B.C.E. It started trickling into the West in the early 1990s when yoga masters started exploring the western world. It surprisingly garnered substantial popularity and followers, which led to the establishment of yoga classes and schools. Yoga has since become a medical trend.
Studies and statistics show that the practice is popular with doctors worldwide, and it is now common for clinicians to prescribe yoga to their patients. You may be curious about what propels the yoga movements as opposed to other health practices and trends. Yoga has earned recognition in therapy treatment due to its viability in helping patients feel better.
Health Benefits of Yoga
Studies show that yoga aids in conditions like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and back pains and eases cancer treatment’s side effects. Research on yoga shows that many patients are investing in interdependent treatments such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic for a more holistic approach to medical treatment.
1. Perks up flexibility
Flexibility is one of the primary reasons why yogis are taking classes in the first place. Practice makes perfect, and through consistency, one achieves flexibility with additional benefits such as fewer back aches and pains. The tightness of the tendons behind the knee joints causes the lumbar region to flatten, causing back pains. Also, poor posture is caused by the inflexibility of ligaments and connective tissues.
2. Improves bone health
Medical research shows that exercises that involve supporting one’s own weight strengthen the bones. Yoga includes exercises where one has to stretch out the bones and arms, areas which are particularly susceptible to osteoporotic fractures. Also, according to studies conducted at California State University, yoga alleviates the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that tends to eat away at bone density.
3. Facilitates blood flow
A good flow of oxygenated blood reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It also helps if one has kidney problems since relaxation exercises get the blood flowing to the arms and hands. Twisting exercises facilitate the release of blood in the veins allowing oxygen to flow freely; incorporating oxygen in the blood cells fosters better functionality.
On the other hand, inverted yoga exercises allow blood from the pelvic area to find its way to the heart, from where it is pumped back to the lungs for oxygenation. Yoga also helps lower clot-promoting proteins in the blood, warding off complications caused by clotting.
4. Boosts immunity
When doing all the exercises, a fluid containing immune cells is drained. This assists the lymphatic system in fighting infections and removing interstitial fluid from tissues.
5. Increases the heart rate
An increase in heart rate plays a significant role in improving cardiovascular functioning. Studies show that yoga exercises boost the heart rate, consequently increasing the level of maximum oxygen intake. An improved heart rate lowers depression and heart attacks.
6. Facilitates weight loss
Anyone struggling with weight loss should familiarize themselves with the ‘eat less and move more’ concept. Exercise helps to burn calories. The spiritual and consciousness aspect of yoga helps practicing yogis maintain discipline regarding their eating habits.
It also offers encouragement to those who experience difficulties dealing with excess weight.
7. Prevents digestive disorders
Stress causes irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and constipation. If you can deal with stress, then it means that you’ll be remedying some of these digestive issues. Yoga serves as a stress reliever. It does not just stop at that. Research shows that any exercise involving body movement reduces constipation, a risk factor for colon cancer.
8. Gives mental stillness and peace of mind
So many health problems result from stress; high blood pressure, eczema, migraines, lupus, insomnia, etc. According to Patanjali’sYoga Sutra, yoga alleviates desires, fears, frustrations, and anger, which are believed to cause stress. Less stress means fewer illnesses hence a longer, more fulfilling life!
There are many different forms of yoga, and they also have different experience levels. Therefore, you shouldn’t have an excuse for avoiding exercise, which will improve your quality of life in the long run. If you want to try yoga, search for yoga studios around you.