What is Yoga?
Yoga is defined as a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices whose aim is to have control over the still mind to unlock the capabilities of the brain which remain untouched. However the concept of yoga has often changed with time. Nowadays the term “Yoga” signifies a form of hatha yoga and a method of physical fitness using posture based stretches or exercises, stress-relief and techniques for relaxing the mind and muscles.
Performing yoga has several benefits. Yoga relaxes your mind and muscles and makes you calmer. Below are some health benefits you can avail by doing Yoga everyday.
- Makes you more flexible – With regular practice of yoga asana you can easily increase your body’s flexibility.
- Builds muscle too – Yoga revolves around performing some asanas which work your muscle, which makes it gain strength and get well toned with regular practice.
- Boosts the metabolism process, in the body – Yoga asanas regulates the body and it’s working which improves the metabolic system of the body in the long run.
- Helps in controlling blood sugar– These are nothing to be shocked about as yoga can control the blood sugar levels, with several other problems such as bad cholesterol levels, weight of the body etc.
- Increases the blood flow in the body – These exercises are made in such a way so that the blood flow regulation gets triggered whenever they are performed.
- Keeps disease away – This was supposed to happen with other benefits being increased metabolism, and blood flow and capability of controlling blood sugar.
- Better lung quality– The asanas also have certain breathing techniques which can improve the functioning of the lungs.
Benefits of yoga don’t end here. You wont realize its real impact on you till you try it yourself.
Some frequently asked Questions about YOGA
- What are the “Yoga” exercises called?
The exercises are called as Asanas.
- What is the difference between Yoga and Asana?
Asana is actually practicing the yoga physically relating the body. Yoga are the practices as a whole.
- Can yoga be useful for pain relief?
Yoga triggers those nerves, muscles or body parts which were not properly used before which can also relieve pain from the body. The pain would be relieved with the proper posture and better health. So , yes yoga can be useful for pain relief.
Yoga and Pain Relief
Yoga is a powerful practice which helps us to stay active and manage stress. It also helps in managing pain in different parts of the body.
Some of the yoga asanas which help in pain relief are as follows :-
- Supta Kapotasana also known as Supine Pigeon pose.
To perform this exercise you need to start from a supine position with your knees bent, then you need to pick your left ankle up and place it a above the right knee. Then bring your right knee to your chest by pulling it using your hand. You can use your elbow to keep your shin parallel to the surface, keep in mind to use your left elbow for your left shin. Just hold on to do the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat this on both sides.
This asana targets the glutes, piriformis and the lower neck. It stretches these parts and helps in the pain relief.
- Bhujangasana, also known as the Cobra stretch is like a hood of an alert cobra.
To do this asana you need to lie down first. Then bring your palms back by folding you elbows and then pushing your upper body (from the lower back) upwards and try to stretch the lower back and push your body upwards. You can look upwards in the direction for better stretch. Bhujangasana helps to increase the backwards stretch ability of your spine. The asana also cures lower back pain for many individuals ranging from old aged people suffering due to any age and also for gym goers who suffered any lower back injury.
- Talasana or the palm tree pose.
The spine is stretched upwards when this asana is performed. Start by keeping your feet flat on the ground and hands beside you. The chin should be parallel to the ground. While inhaling, lift the heels along with arms. When fully stretched, the arms will be upwards with fingers together pointing out with the heels above the ground, and you would be on your toes . Hold your breath and bring your arms down beside your body by turning your palms outwards. Bring your heels down with your arms while exhaling. This needs to the repeated 2-3 times.
This asana helps in stretching the spine’s skeletal muscles and relieving the compression of the cartilages present in the spine.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana Or the downward dog pose.
To do this asana you need to be on all four with you le wrist placed at shoulder distance on the ground. Then by lifting your knees you need to life your hips as upwards you can. Create an extension by engaging your shoulder and triceps in the upward lifting movement of the hips, and create a right angle between your toes and your palms. Hold yourself at the pose for a few seconds and then come down without hurting your back. It not only helps with the back and neck pain but also with fibromyalgia and headaches.
Here were some very useful asanas for reducing the pain throughout the body. The Supta Kapotasana mainly helps with the glutes and lower back pains. Secondly the Bhujangasana also reduces the back pain. Thirdly the Tolasana engages the shoulder, back and ankles making them feel some relief from pain. Last but not the least, Adho Mukha Svanasana gives relief from neck pain, headaches and fibromyalgia.
Yoga asanas are of very huge varieties but nearly every one of them provides you with better health and a certain amount of pain relief. These were just some examples of asanas with their uses for pain relief. You would be very happy to know there are nearly hundreds of Asanas for you to try and get pain free life. Yoga asanas gets rid of any pain such as chronic pain, muscle pain, joint pain etc.
PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.