Updated: Sep 27, 2021
"Yoga is the artwork of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul." -Amit Ray
Yoga is believed to be upwards of 10,000 years old. The earliest texts, called Yoga Sutras, define the practice of yoga as restraining the mind from focusing on external objects, to then reach the state of pure consciousness. After beginning with the art of meditation the practice began incorporating movements from gymnastics and wrestling to further train the mind and body.
Yoga is most known for the calming sensation from focusing all attention on what you are doing, or what you wish to be concentrating on. However, the practice of yoga also improves strength and flexibility, reduces chronic pain, and has many other health benefits beyond just stress reduction.
Fun fact* the stretches and movements you do to increase flexibility also improve your pain tolerance by adjusting your body's natural reflex to constrict muscles.
On another end of the yoga scale, you have the controlled breathing which in today's society is a huge tool used in cognitive therapy treatment. Have you ever been uber stressed out and someone told you just to breathe? Well, the idea is to calm down, adjust your breathing, and relax your body so you can tackle whatever the issue may be. So, in practicing yoga, you are training your body to learn the breathing techniques which then leads to automatic stress reduction and a relaxed mind and body.
Pranayama- focus on deep breathing and gentle stretching, it was used in an Oxford University study and was found to be so intricately connected to happiness.
So, let's get this straight.. stress reduction, better sleep, trained breathing, weight-loss, overall happiness boost, and so many more positive attributes all from yoga? Why are we not all doing yoga??
Exactly. Let's all work to incorporate yoga into our daily lives and check back in!
Credit to: Ted-ED, Well Cast, Amit Ray.