Complete Health Benefits of Yoga


Complete Health Benefits of Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is understood differently by different people. Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means “UNION”. It is a holistic practice of exercises that connect the body, mind and spirit through body postures, meditation and controlled breathing.

It is a practice of accepting, assimilating and becoming aware of your thoughts, experiences, surroundings, noises and physical being and becoming one with your surroundings.

Origin of Yoga

Yoga is said to be a school of exercises which originated and developed over 5000 years ago during the Indus-Saraswati civilization. According to contemporary belief, Patanjali is considered to be the founder of Yoga. The most famous of his treatise “Patanjali YogaSutra” is considered to be the most definitive guide.

Types of Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga literally means a broad style of Yoga where emphasis is on physical postures. It has a gentle approach to perform postures.

Anusara Yoga

Anusara Yoga as a school of yoga was developed in 1997 by John Friend. Anusara means to follow in Sanskrit. The concept of Anusara is flowing and learning and practising what Grace and Nature does. This form of Yoga puts an emphasis of unlocking innate goodness that allows one to help others without any prejudice.

Ashthanga Yoga

It literally means “eight limbed yoga”. This yoga contains eight spiritual practises like Yama (moral codes), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (absorption in the Universe). It is a six series of asanas campaign and all are performed in the same sequence.

Iyenger Yoga

Founded by BKS Iyenger, the emphasis is on the right alignment in each pose. Various props are used to fine tune postures. This is a passive form but this is a challenging part where one has to hold the poses for longer duration.


Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for flow. This yoga is known for its fluid movements that build intensity. It flows from pose to pose creating a dance like rhythm. The intensity is same as Ashtanga but there is a level of creativity as no two flows are same. The main focus is breath synchronized movement.

Power Yoga

This form was developed by Bender Birch in 1995. It takes the principle of Ashtanga Yoga to create heat and energy through a vigorous workout incorporating strength and flexibility with intense flowing sequence.

Bikram / Hot Yoga

This yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. It has 26 classical poses of Hatha Yoga in an artificially heated room to 100 degree Fahrenheit. It removes body toxins through sweat.

Restorative Yoga

It is opposite to intense yoga and the primary focus is on relaxing and soothing mind and body.

Kundalini Yoga

This yoga has dynamic breathing techniques and chanting and meditation on mantras. This style of Yoga is about awakening of energy that lives at the base of the spine and drawing through each of the seven chakras. Teachers and students are encouraged to wear white.

Ananda Yoga

Swami Kriyananda created this style of Yoga in 1960. A key component of this yoga is use of silent affirmations while holding a pose. The focus is on proper alignment, ease through transitions and breathing exercises. With the idea of self awareness in mind, this yoga seeks upward movement of energy to brain preparing body for meditation.

Forrest Yoga

Ana T. Forrest created this modern yoga in 1982 to work on her own healing. She modified poses and created new poses to address today’s physical ailments. This yoga is founded on four principles of Breath, Strength, Integrity and Spirit which aim to transform intensely physical and internally focused practise from mat to life.

Yin Yoga

This yoga was founded by martial arts expert and Taoist Yoga teacher Paulie Zink in 1970. This yoga is popular as a great compliment to other forms of yoga. It allows you to advance your asana practise by slowing down and getting deep into the postures to increase flexibility.

Based on the Tao concept of “Yin” and “Yang”; the yin concept concentrates on stiff tissue (tendons, ligaments and fascia) and yang concept concentrates on more mobile and pliable muscles and blood.


Kripalu Yoga

This form of yoga was founded by Amrit Desai in 1980. This yoga involves inner focus, meditation, standard yoga postures, breath work, relaxation and emphasis on developing a quiet mind. It practices “following the flow” of Prana, compassion, self-acceptance, observing the mind without judgement and allowing inner teachings to transfer in daily life. The practice focus on press points that are attuned to the body allowing you over time to express yourself in the poses that best suit your body.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep with Nidra in Sanskrit means sleep. It is a five step process which includes –

  1. Relaxing the body and mind
  2. Meditation on the breathing
  3. Balancing of emotional states
  4. Visualization
  5. Self-Healing

It begins with a scan of body to engage your physicality and setting a positive intention to provide purpose. During this yoga the awareness spreads through entire body as one move through stages of consciousness –

  1. Waking state
  2. Dream state
  3. Deep and dreamless sleep

Jivamukti Yoga

This style of Yoga was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon.

It is a physically vigorous style of yoga with equal emphasis on the educational aspect of Yoga and its yogic philosophies. Jivamukti is a Hindi word which means liberation while living. This word is derived from the Sanskrit term Jeevanmukti which means a state of enlightenment and/or God realization.

This practise is a combination of physical, ethical and spiritual practices combining Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga styles which adhere to five central tenets

  1. Shashtra meaning Scripture
  2. Bhakti meaning Devotion
  3. Ahimsa meaning non-violence or non-harming
  4. Nad meaning Music
  5. Dhyana means meditation

Partner Yoga

This type of yoga is practised with a partner whose main focus is integration. It helps to develop communication skills, honesty and capacity to understand and interpret body language

Pre-natal / Post-natal Yoga

Pre-natal yoga is for expecting mothers. It helps them prepare for the birthing process by teaching techniques to keep stress levels low, relieve physical pain and discomfort during pregnancy and build awareness towards the baby and all the changes that happen in the body and mind.

Post-natal yoga is great for post-delivery lactating and/or healing mothers. A trainer will suitably modify techniques which allow the mother to be active during the lactating/healing period.


Suryanamaskar means Sun Salutations in Sanskrit. This is not a standalone type of Yoga and is a part of the Ashthanga Yoga practice.

Suryanamaskar brings together 12 different asanas to give you a complete workout. Even if you do Suryanamaskar every day for 5 to 10 minutes you will get full benefits of the same.

How Yoga Transforms You

Physical Benefits of Yoga

The relaxation acquired by doing yoga eases:

  1. Chronic pain like lower back, headache, carpal tunnel syndrome.
  2. Lowers blood pressure
  3. Increases flexibility
  4. Increase in muscle strength and tone
  5. Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  6. Maintains a balance in metabolism
  7. Aids in weight reduction
  8. Cardio and circulatory health
  9. Improvement in athletic performance
  10. Protection from injury
  11. Perfects the body posture
  12. Prevents cartilage and joint break down
  13. Protects the spine
  14. Improvement in bone health
  15. Increase in blood flow
  16. Drains lymph’s and boosts immunity
  17. Increase in heart rate
  18. Regulate adrenal glands
  19. Creates a healthy lifestyle
  20. Lowers blood sugar
  21. Relaxes the system
  22. Strengthens organs
  23. Regulates gastrointestinal organs
  24. Regulates sexual functions
  25. Helps detox the body
  26. Eases Asthma
  27. Fights Arthritis
  28. Helps in controlling multiple sclerosis
  29. Increases digestion
  30. Improves breathing and lung capacity
  31. Improves diabetes management
  32. Eases labor and improves pre and post natal health
  33. Eases menopause symptoms

Mental Benefits of Yoga

  1. Boosts memory
  2. Reduces anxiety and stress
  3. Reduces hypertension
  4. Helps to relax
  5. Boosts concentration and brain power
  6. Increases attention span and focus
  7. Helps ease migraine
  8. Reduces and controls insomnia
  9. Helps to control headaches
  10. Stabilizes mind
  11. Brings mental balance
  12. Helps in curing spinal problems and strengthen it
  13. Regulates sleep
  14. Helps brain to utilize more oxygen
  15. Improves other brain functions
  16. Increases mental capabilities to learn and retain
  17. Decreases chances of mental diseases

Spiritual Benefits of Yoga

  1. Eliminates negative thoughts
  2. Increases positive awareness and bliss
  3. Increases self-awareness
  4. Increases mindfulness

Emotional Benefits of Yoga

  1. Kills depression
  2. Increases self-worth
  3. Increases confidence
  4. Helps overcome PTSD (Post Trauma Stress Disorder)
  5. Improves mood

Over to you….

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