Monday, 24 August 2015

WHAT IS YOGA?

When I decided to feature this article here I was curious to hear the opinion people hold about yoga. I didn't go far but I started right at my work place. Most people described yoga as 'an Indian thing' which employs soft and low tone exercises for leisure. I went further and brought up the idea that regular yoga can be used bring relief to chronic cases of Stress, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and many more but this idea was disputed with many of them demanding I explain the logic behind that. (And was talking to medics)

Yoga is a mind-body form of complementary approach to self-healing that may involve the subjects to assume different postures, breathing exercise and concentration into meditation. It brings unity to different dimensions of self like the physical body, intellect and the spirit as it promotes healing from different ailments like stress, depression, chronic pain, better blood sugar control and others. [1]

Regular Yoga can function to restore and relax the body system by the way of assuming various poses, slow down breathibg into deep, prolonged inhalation, holding breath and slowly exhaling. At the same time individual focuses to the present by meditation. This entire process relaxes the body by shifting the nervous activation from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous stimulation [2] Sympathetic stimulation functions to prepare the body to deal with stressful moments like fear, embarrassment and others. Parasympathetic stimulation functions to slow down body processes allowing body processes to occur peacefully and in a relaxation mode. [3]
The parasympathetic response is calming and restoring, lowers heart rate, decreases the blood pressure and slows down respiration. Relaxation effect of parasympathetic stimulation heightens self-awareness, confidence, effectiveness, enhances optimism rather than pessimism, lays plans that excites us, empowers to step out of the fray and visualize life in a new way. [2]

Regular Yoga is self-empowering, enhances autonomy and enables the learner to embrace an active role towards healing which comes from within rather than from an outside form. It also enables the learner to adopt a positive mindset for faster liberation from stress, fatigue, depression, better sleep, release of tension, blood sugar fluctuations control, relief from chronic muscle and joint pains and other benefits.[1]

References.
1. Explaining the therapeutic effect of Yoga and its ability to increase quality of life- PubMed. By Catherine Woidyard. Address:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/. Viewed on: 19/06/2015.
2. 38 beefits of Yoga|Yoga benefits- Yoga journal. By Timothy Mccall, M.D|Aug 28, 2007. Address:http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/. Viewed on: 20/06/2015.
3. The Nervous System|Functions of Autonomic Nervous System| Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in health and illness. By Anne Waugh & Allison Grant.10th edition, 2006. Page 173.
4. 5-Surprising Yoga benefits you don't know. By Alycia Lim|yahoo Newsroom|Friday, June 19, 2015. Address:https://sg.news.yahoo.com/5-surprising-yoga-benefits-you-didn-t-know-095855592.html.
5. Effectiveness of Yoga on hypertension: systemic review and meta-analysis- NIH, by Marshall Hagins, Rebecca States and Kim Innes. Address: http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/articles/pmc/PMC3679769/  Viewed on: 20/06/2015.
6. Yoga for improving sleep quality and quality of life for older adults- PubMed- ncbi. 2014 May-June; 20(3):37-46. By Halpern J., Cohen M., Kennedy G., Reece J., Cahan C., Baharav A. Address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24755569.
7. The Masculoskeletal System|exercise and bone| Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in health and illness. By Anne Waugh & Allison Grant.10th edition, 2006. Page 387.
8. Osteoarthritis- wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Address:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteoarthritis