The Benefits Of Yoga For Everyone + Breathing Techniques

The benefits of Yoga for your health – Yoga is for everyone

The benefits of yoga are well known, and Yoga has long since developed into a trendy form of movement in our latitudes. In larger cities, yoga studios have been springing up like mushrooms for years and even the smallest communities are now offering various yoga courses.

This is indeed a great development, because people of all ages and physical constitution can benefit from the regular practice of special yoga exercises. No matter whether women or men, children or senior citizens, healthy or sick people – yoga is an easy-to-learn form of movement that can be an enrichment for everyone.

Whether as a purely preventive measure, to increase physical and mental performance or to regain good health – yoga is undoubtedly a valuable aid in achieving the goals set.

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The benefits of yoga on students has been scientifically proven

A randomized controlled trial looking at the effects of yoga on adolescents was held at Harvard Medical School in Boston in 2012.

The test subjects were pupils from 7th to 12th grade who were divided into two groups. Half of the students were given the task of practicing any kind of sport on a regular basis over a period of 11 weeks, while the other half of the students did yoga exercises on a regular basis.

The participants in the yoga group showed astonishing things after the end of the study: They were significantly less tired in the long term and were noticeably more interested in taking part in the class. In addition, they were able to better control their emotions, which made them far less aggressive. In the control group, on the other hand, there were even deteriorations in some control areas.

Yoga is therefore so helpful and sensible for children and young people that it is now to be made a compulsory subject in Indian state schools for children in grades 6 to 10. This is excellent news because it describes a measure that our children in this country could only wish for.

But how do the benefits of yoga work in concrete terms? What is yoga anyway, in what ways can yoga influence the body and the mind? And what is the philosophy behind yoga?

The yoga philosophy

The term “yoga” comes from the ancient Indian Sanskrit and means something like “bundle” or “connect”. With this the word already defines exactly what constitutes the originally philosophical-spiritual yoga teaching:

The various physical exercises (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama) in connection with special concentration methods (mudra bandha), meditation techniques (dhyana) and relaxation techniques (savasana) aim to connect the body with the mind, the soul and the breath.

This holistic concept enables the yoga practitioner to become ONE with himself. Therefore yoga is also referred to as the royal road to the perfect self.

In order to achieve this lofty goal, however, you not only need regular yoga exercises, but also the unwavering adherence to certain basic ethical rules. These include, for example, self-discipline, honesty, non-violence, incorruptibility, avoidance of sexual misconduct, a pure way of life (no fixation on any property), a celibate way of life and complete devotion to God.

From this it can be seen that the origins of yoga do not have much in common with today’s yoga, because only a few people can make friends with these rather demanding requirements.

However, if you do not have an excessively dissolute lifestyle, you will succeed in fundamentally improving your quality of life simply by practicing body, breathing and relaxation techniques without taking the original overall concept into account.

Of course, you will not experience all benefits of yoga and your perfect self with this abbreviated version, but you will make a significant contribution to your physical and mental fitness. And it is definitely worth taking an interest in “modern yoga”.

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Physical exercises in yoga

If you want to get really fit again, yoga gives you the opportunity to put together your own personal program from at least 37 different exercises. There are at least 14 different positions that are performed in the supine position, 11 sitting positions, 6 exercises in the prone position and a further 6 exercises in the standing position.

But don’t worry! Of course, you don’t have to do all of these positions one after the other. That would be too much of a good thing. Instead, a sequence of exercises is put together from the individual positions. In such a way you can experience a variety of the benefits of yoga as it optimally stimulates or relaxes certain areas of the body and organ functions – as required.

The combination of individual, complementary positions can, for example, be geared towards the following goals:

Strengthening of the back and shoulder muscles
Activation of the cardiovascular system
Stretching the entire musculature
Strengthening the immune system
Stimulation of the hormone-producing glandular system
Harmonization of the digestive system
Mobilization of the drainage organs
Calms the nervous system

From this long but incomplete list you can already see the benefits of yoga for your health that regular yoga training can bring about: Balance and recovery on all levels!


Breathing exercises in yoga: lung cleansing and mental agility

The healing yoga energy is not “only” limited to the physical area, because yoga also stimulates mental agility and activity through special breathing exercises.

In contrast to normal, unconscious breathing, the yoga breathing exercises represent a conscious intervention in the breathing process. In conscious breathing, you breathe in slowly and deeply through the nose, whereby the chest expands, the diaphragm lowers and the abdominal wall arches forward.

When you exhale slowly (also through your nose), the stomach lowers inwards and the chest relaxes automatically. This breathing takes place parallel to the physical exercises.

Slow, conscious breathing can be used to direct this into certain areas of the body so that the body is supplied with oxygen in a targeted manner. One more of the many benefits of yoga you can obtain though the consistent practice that deepens the breathing so that the tidal volume gradually increases.

If the breathing exercises are carried out correctly, the lungs are cleaned and all organs are increasingly supplied with oxygen. At the same time, the discharge of carbon dioxide is increased.

An accelerated removal of carbon dioxide, in connection with an increased uptake of oxygen, can contribute to the fact that even existing organ diseases are positively influenced by yoga breathing exercises.

The brain also benefits from the improved gas exchange in the lungs (increased oxygen uptake and improved carbon dioxide release). There, conscious breathing can contribute to calming, promote concentration, increase creativity and lead to serenity – up to the experience of the highest happiness.

In order to achieve a lung cleanse, of course, several breathing practice hours are required, you can also prepare a drink to clean your lungs.

Special breathing exercises in yoga

In addition to this breathing, there are other breathing exercises in yoga, but they are carried out without the simultaneous practice of the physical exercises. One of these exercises is alternating breathing.

When breathing alternately, the right nostril is first closed with the thumb and then inhaled through the left nostril.

The breath is then held before the left nostril is finally closed with the little finger in order to exhale again through the right nostril. Before breathing in again through the right nostril, the breath should also be briefly held. This exercise is carried out in constant rotation to achieve the most benefits from yoga.

Alternating breathing is said to have a particularly positive effect on the paranasal and frontal sinuses, show a general calming effect and contribute to more clarity and energy. In addition, this breathing exercise should help to restore the balance between the two halves of the brain.

The so-called fire breath is one of the special breathing exercises. Here, with your mouth closed, you briefly inhale deeply through both nasal passages, with the abdominal wall bulging forward. Then you just exhale in quick succession. The abdominal wall pulls all the way in and automatically moves forward again, so that you can exhale again immediately without having inhaled beforehand.

This breathing clears the head, increases concentration and can have a positive effect on hay fever symptoms and diseases of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.

Cool breathing is also a special breathing method. As the name suggests, this breathing technique has a cooling effect – especially on the head. In addition, this exercise is said to have a very relaxing effect, improve the digestive function and be helpful for menopausal symptoms.

For cooling breathing, the tongue is stretched forward through the slightly open mouth and rolled inwards to the side. In this position, inhale slowly, accompanied by an audible hiss.

Then the mouth is closed in a relaxed manner and exhaled through the nose. The breath should be held between inhaling and exhaling.

If you can’t roll your tongue in, put the tip of your tongue on your lower teeth and continue as described above.

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No cooling breathing with certain complaints!

Although there are many benefits of yoga and the associated breathing techniques, cool breathing should not be practiced with low blood pressure, heart failure or a disease of the respiratory tract!

In general, beginners should never perform the special breathing techniques in yoga described above without the precise instruction of an experienced yoga teacher.

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Concentration is followed by relaxation

The yoga exercise series ends with a relaxing period of rest. Deep relaxation takes about 15 minutes and is an extremely important part of the yoga program. It should therefore never be skipped due to lack of time, because the body needs this phase in order to sufficiently relax the muscles, the spine and all organs again.

In addition, the body uses relaxation to distribute the energy activated by physical and breathing exercises evenly throughout the body.

So that you can relax properly, you should first lie comfortably on your back and possibly cover yourself with a blanket. Watch your breath with your eyes closed. Take a body journey that starts at the feet and ends on the scalp.

Then relax your thoughts by holding the picture of a loved one, a beautiful experience, etc. in front of your eyes. At the end of the relaxation, you will detach yourself from all inner images.

To complete the benefits of yoga, take several deep breaths in and out, then slowly open your eyes. Extend and straighten yourself and pull your knees towards your chest. In this position, rock very carefully from right to left and then up and down along the spine. Then rub your hands and the soles of your feet together.

Now your circulation is back on track, and you are ready for new action.

The entire process of these three exercises (movement, breathing, relaxation) takes between 60 and 90 minutes in a yoga class. If you practice at home alone, 30 minutes is sufficient to experience the benefits of yoga if you exercise daily.

Dear co-creators

I hope this article gives you some more insight on the health benefits of yoga for everyone. 


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