As our body and mind move towards the peak of actualisation, we acquire our own set of habits, of both good and bad. As the bad often supersedes the good, especially at the younger stages of our life, leading to over-indulgence. This over-indulgence has a price attached to it- which we pay at old age, with the deterioration of our overall health. The years of bad habits take a toll on your actual health as both body and mind are unable to function to its fullest potentiality.
Take the example of our fragile yet tenacious heart- despite its demure stature, our heart is one of the most vital parts of our body. Pumping fresh, oxygen-laden blood to the body is a task itself that the heart completes beautifully. However, poor lifestyle and diet directly affect our hearts, reducing its ability to function. This leads to the onset of years spent with high blood pressure, heart failure and other coronary diseases. So should we wallow in despair, waiting for the end to come? No- we should embrace good habits, such as yoga.
Yoga-A panacea to keep you healthy
The mystical arts of yoga, practised with utmost precision and dedication from ages, has seeped into the shiny decorum of modern man. Health has risen into focus as yoga takes the fascination of mankind, combining fitness with spirituality. For people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, this comes as a great cheer owing to its gentle pace.
More often than not, these patients lack the ability to go through rigorous activities, coupled with burgeoning weight, making it a task to lose weight and head for a healthy life. Yoga can be beneficial, with the beautiful combination of stretching and gentle movements weaning people into an activity-based life.
The various postures of yoga are beneficial in adding a steady amount of activity to the muscles which are good for the heart and blood vessels. These movements help muscles become additionally sensitive to insulin, therefore controlling blood pressure better.
The stress- hormones are better managed, which prevents overeating or other destructive habits. The elasticity of muscles is increased, which adds flexibility to the body, curing accompanying diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis, that limit flexibility.
Yoga as a stress outlet
Excessive stress causes the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which narrow down one’s arteries and increase blood pressure. So, when we perform yoga regularly it relaxes our body and mind. The deep breathing helps to reduce stress, thereby decreasing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Yoga as Heart Booster
Practising regular yoga helps in lowering down the blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, as well as heart rate. A study has proven that both blood measurements and waist circumference improved in middle-aged adults, who practised yoga for three months.
Yoga as Smoking Cessation Aid
Few types of research show that yoga helps to quit smoking, which is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
Yoga as Exercise
It not only helps you to lower down blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels but also yoga improves flexibility, muscle strength and balance.
Yoga ensures that our body functions better while withstanding the daily wear-n-tear that we go through. It balances the functioning of the body, with the levelheaded energy of the mind, to create a powerful conduit that can achieve greatness in life. Complete wellness is an onus in our hands and it’s up to us to take the cause up for a better future- hence yoga is the way to go, for a good body and a sound mind.
(Disclaimer: The writer is Dr Pankaj Gupta, President, IIHMR University, Jaipur. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)