A recurring thought is connected in my mind to benefits of yoga, and comes to life with this question ...
"How can I increase my health levels?"
When I think of increasing health levels, I implicitly include the sense of well-being, contentment, energy, positivity and all the other conditions associated with a body-mind that work in top form.
Obviously the normal condition is also to suffer some oscillation between illness and health, it is not possible to be alone and always at 100% healthy. What matters is striving for health, which means making it harder for external conditions to shake our balance, both physical and psychic.
So how can I increase my health levels even more after doing everything necessary with regards to nutrition and exercise?
This recurring thought (but not obsessive :-)) invariably leads me to an answer ...
Yoga! here is what I can do to tend to greater health.
- 1 BENEFITS OF YOGA: INCREASES HEALTH, LONGEVITY AND WELL-BEING
- 2 BENEFITS OF YOGA: CANCEL THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE GREAT PERSONAL STORIES
- 3 BENEFITS OF YOGA: REDUCES FEAR
- 4 BENEFITS OF YOGA: FIGHT THE INFLAMMATION (WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE DISEASES)
- 5 BENEFITS OF YOGA: A REAL ANTI-AGING EFFECT (AS THE YOGA SAVES THE TELOMER)
- 6 HOW TO MAKE YOGA'S DAILY PRACTICE EASY: THE RULE OF 3 POSITIONS
BENEFITS OF YOGA: INCREASES HEALTH, LONGEVITY AND WELL-BEING
Yoga is the exceptional tool that takes you up to new levels of health and wellness body and mind.
When are you sure you have done all the homework on thesupply (which is the solid foundation for health) then the next natural step can be yoga.
All or almost all the inner suffering that human beings experience is caused by the processes of mental projection.
The virtual reality world of mental projections is generated by the pensieri, which if on the one hand constitute the source of human creativity (as the ability to create thoughts) on the other generates suffering when the process of identifying with those thoughts is in progress.
At the level of brain activity, through the use of sophisticated on-screen visualization tools of the brain's metabolic activity, it is possible to see what happens in this organ in which thought takes shape. Here's what emerged ...
BENEFITS OF YOGA: CANCEL THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE GREAT PERSONAL STORIES
In an experiment1 it has been noted that the meditative activity carried out during yoga moves thebrain activity from the area associated with narrative thinking to the area associated with experiential thinking (awareness of what is lighting me up here and now).
The area of narrative thinking can be seen as a portion of the brain that has a lot to do with "my personal story and the story of what is happening to me ".
While the area of experiential thinking does not involve narratives, it is simply focused on present time, without mental over-constructions (watchful and objective observation).
What is the benefit of this shift in brain activity?
The shift in brain activity described above can be related to a greater control over stories and personal experiences that we tell ourselves (of which we build a narrative).
Moving the focus from a subjective vision to a more decentralized and objective vision can help avoid getting trapped in stories about ourselves, which we all tell ourselves.
This process generates automatically inner peace because it breaks the bonds with what generates stress from the whole.
Le bad and sad stories of which we create a narrative within us generate additional stress and make us make people feel even worse.
Return the focus to the body while performing one yoga position or during a session of pranayama (yoga breathing techniques) weakens the strength that bad inner narratives exert on us.
BENEFITS OF YOGA: REDUCES FEAR
This is truly one of the most exciting results coming from recent scientific research on the effects benefits of yoga.
It has been demonstrated2 that 8 weeks of meditation practice reduce the gray matter volume of theamygdala, an area of the brain associated with the emotion of the fear.
Evidently the possibility of feeling fear remains (fear is healthy in certain contexts). But probably, thanks to meditation, this feeling is made less dominant and placed more "under control".
Note: the Meditation is an integral part of yoga. Traditionally yoga is made up of eight parts ranging from moral guidelines (yama and nihama) through asanas (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense control), dharana (concentration) dhyana (meditation) and finally to the state of total integration (samadhi).
From samadhi onwards, any explanation of the states that consciousness passes through becomes inexplicable. In other words, they cannot be transmitted with words because they totally transcend the language and concepts conventionally used in the three-dimensional world (four-dimensional to tell the truth because time is also counted).
Furthermore, studies on the neurophysiology of meditative states and yoga reveal that many of the benefits of these practices are generated by the state of attention towards the activities of the present moment (whether it is the breath or a position taken in performing a posture, l effect is the same).
Obviously in the other stages of the yoga path such as breathing or postures, in addition to the effects proper to meditation, there are also other beneficial effects associated respectively with the way of breathing and the way the body moves.
While the amygdala is reduced in size, other areas such as thehippocampus increase their size3. The hippocampus is associated with the regulation of the emotions, learning and memory.
So it really seems that these practices generate a deep balance in the structures of the brain and consequently in our psychic and emotional life.
The brain is plastic, not static and immutable as was believed until not many years ago. My thesis was entitled "Investigation techniques of postnatal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult mammal hippocampus"….Applause! ?
In fact, certain areas of our brain exist that continue to produce new neurons for the duration of life. One of these areas is the hippocampus, which presides overlearning of new things.
Among other things you will like to know that you are able to controllare the level of activation of your brain regarding the generation of new neurons thanks to three known elements. Here they are…
- It's know as "enriched environment”Of stimulating elements, which keep the brain operating and its innate tendency to solve problems.
- Un healthy nutrition and complete the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed to make all cells work well.
- THEphysical exercise.
Don't complain if you get old then you feel stupid. Remember to implement the three points above, so as to slow down brain aging and stay active, reactive and productive until late in life.
Use the three points mentioned above in this way:
1) Always provide yourself with stimuli that keep you active and positive. You have to feed your passion. If you still don't have a clear idea of your passion, look for it ... it's probably one of the first things you liked to do as a child or a boy, but then for one reason or another you've forgotten it.
3) Find the way you love most to move the c_ _ _ o! (= Ass). Virtually all moderate or intense physical activity (depending on one's ability) is fine to satisfy this purpose. Probably the best way is to walk for half an hour a day, including a climb up the path.
BENEFITS OF YOGA: FIGHT THE INFLAMMATION (WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE DISEASES)
It seems that everything that is good for health also reduces the body's levels of inflammation. There is a state (not universally recognized by all doctors) that is called silent inflammation.
I think this term was introduced, or at least disclosed to the general public, by Barry Sears, the father of the Zone Diet.
This gentleman is a authentic scientist researcher with attributes. To make you better understand the subject is one that before the invention of the Zone Diet had already patented carrier molecules for certain anticancer drugs.
These are molecules that reversibly bind a certain drug and once in the bloodstream release it into the target organ.
In short, he is someone who knows the biochemistry at monstrous levels.
Dr. Sears says that in our body there is often a state of silent inflammation characterized by the presence of some signs of inflammation or pre-inflammation if you prefer.
Small parenthesis ...
I remember a televised confrontation on Porta a Porta between him (Dr. Sears) and professor Calabrese (the one that always appears in the Elisir transmission, and here and there wherever its reassuring presence is required that conveys great confidence in a diet based on spaghetti with basil and white bread!).
The latter tried to ridicule the claims of Dr. Sears by simply repeating with phrases like: "but pasta is good, spaghetti is not bad, but these are all baloney!", and so on.
On the one hand, Dr. Sears acted as a scientist and brought biochemical data to support of his statements about the existence of silent inflammation and about the inflammatory effects of white flours and sugars.
On the other hand Professor Calabrese did not bring any data to support his thesis, on the contrary he was limited only, in a very unscientific, arrogant, simplistic and discouraging way to see himself in a figure like that, to bring back the popular belief that white spaghetti is the basis of a healthy Mediterranean diet. What sadness?
But it is not so, the true Mediterranean diet is the poor one of the past, in which the Whole grains (above all a nice integralone bread as it should be) not the 00 wheat flour noodles.
As I said, silent inflammation is a state in which some within the cells typical signs of inflammation are manifesting, but have not yet "exploded" to 100% (as in inflammation commonly understood).
It is therefore a state that denotes cell suffering and should be corrected as soon as possible. The first way to do this is through nutrition, eliminating irritating foods (allergenic, sugary and alcoholic).
But there is also another synergistic way to do it, and it is with it yoga. Indeed it has been shown that the Meditative practice reduces the inflammatory response of the organism4.
BENEFITS OF YOGA: A REAL ANTI-AGING EFFECT (AS THE YOGA SAVES THE TELOMER)
Over time, ours cells divide so many times. The newly formed cells replace the oldest and most worn cells. In this process of continuous division, which takes place throughout the life span, the outer portions of the chromosomes gradually go away consuming.
One of the theories on the causes of aging is precisely related to the progressive shortening of the external portions of the chromosomes that are called telomeres. In fact, telomere length is a sign of longevity.
Chronic stress accelerates telomere shortening. When the telomeres are too consumed they enter a state of senescence (of old age and death).
Some studies5-6 have investigated precisely the link between shortening of telomeres, longevity and meditative practice. In practice it seems that a condition of reduced stress (and therefore of psychophysical well-being) increases the levels of an enzyme called telomerase.
La telomerase, in turn, reduces telomere shortening which occurs at every cell division. In practice, the higher the concentration of the telomerase enzyme in the cells, the less telomere shortens. The telomeres that keep their length better contribute to determining one greater longevity.
A study6 Interestingly, it shows that the telomerase concentration is practically zero in individuals subjected to a high perceived stress (in the study they were mothers who look after children with autism or those with deadly diseases).
Therefore the disciplines able to reduce the perceived stress and increase the feeling of well-being, like yoga, increase the concentration of telomerase, which in turn increases the longevity trend.
Another study7 has shown an increase in telomerase levels in subjects following one strict diet, practice physical exercise, a little meditation and a healthy lifestyle. All this contributes to the anti-aging effect and promotes longevity.
A similar experiment8, performed on a group of meditators in a three-month retreat, he demonstrated that the group of meditators on retreat had telomerase levels of 30% higher compared to the control group that had not followed the seminar.
Here is the reason why most of the Yoga teachers maintain an apparently undefined age. The decades pass and these show a decidedly younger age than the age, both in relation to the aesthetic appearance and to the elasticity of the joints and the coordination of movements.
The amazing thing is that the benefits of yoga don't stop there ...
It would take several other articles to complete what we know today of benefits of yoga9, but here I presented some of the most important ones. For elaborate on you can find other thematic information in the article "Hatha Yoga: also good for getting a more powerful brain (and to use it better)".
Remember these remarkable benefits that this discipline (blessing!) Can give you and whenever you have to ask "How can I increase my health levels?", Now you have a valid answer.
Put it into practice this answer and transforms the benefits of yoga into reality, because as the Yoga teacher K. Pattabhi Jois said:
"99% of practice and 1% of theory".
The problem is that there is often a shortage of time to practice because of other priorities: first of all work and family.
So how do you find time to do yoga in this flurry of incessant activities?
First of all you have to give the right value and the right priority also to the practice of disciplines ad high life value like yoga.
So, don't put yoga like tail light behind all other more urgent activities, otherwise it is very likely that you will never take a moment for your practice.
Although yoga does not fall into the category of urgent activities (as can be preparing dinner for your loved ones), it is however decidedly important. In particular it is an important medium and long term investment for your health and for the health quality of your life.
Time passes quickly, have you noticed? ... so you should always think in terms of long-term benefits rather than in terms of satisfying short-term desires.
After giving the right value and the right priority to yoga, you have to render doable your practice. Even if yoga is by definition a discipline, you have to practice it with love and passion, not with a sense of constraint and duty.
You must therefore make your yoga practice applicable to your daily reality and create a good one in yourself motivation to practice.
How can you get this?
As for the motivation, i benefits of yoga that you discovered in this article should already ignite in you the desire to unroll the yoga mat.
While, as regards the daily practice (or almost) here is a approach that I have experienced and it works.
HOW TO MAKE YOGA'S DAILY PRACTICE EASY: THE RULE OF 3 POSITIONS
Over time I have experienced a rule that I gave myself for practice more frequently. Since it gave me good results, I share it with you.
The objective of this rule is to lower the threshold of psychological barrier to practice.
What does it mean?
When you think, "mmmh, I almost do a little yoga, I unroll the mat and relax a little ...", at this moment another thought can arise like: "... yes, but then I spend more than an hour in all, I can't, I'll try again tomorrow".
And so soft and the yoga class skips! (and at the 90% it will jump in a similar way the following day).
If instead you put in place a strategic approach based on "little is better than nothing", then the effect will be different.
The rule to be given is the following and you must repeat it mentally...
"Today I want to do yoga. I am content to do only 3 positions, which I will however perform with maximum concentration. The whole thing will only take me 15 minutes ...
... if I want to continue my lesson I can do it by adding other positions to the initial 3 sequence, otherwise I will stop after the 3 positions that I decided to perform."
This approach makes it easier to perform a frequent practice because basically 15 minutes you can find them whenever you want. But there is a flap positive collateral in this strategic approach ...
Once you have started the short flow of 3 positions you will probably be inclined to add others. Because performing a yoga position with mindfulness is one of the most fulfilling things there is because it produces a feeling of complete well-being which reverberates for hours or even days.
With this simple 3 rule positions the practice will be simpler and you will unroll the mat more often and without effort.
Is it possible after all of this to add something else that can increase health and take the quality of life to the next level?
... mmmh, maybe yes, and since we talked about the benefits of yoga, I let the teacher of all yoga teachers talk: Patanjali...
"When we are inspired by some great purpose, by some extraordinary project, all our thoughts break their ties: the mind transcends its limits, the conscience expands in every direction and we find ourselves in a new bigger and more wonderful world. The strengths, abilities and talents come to life and you discover that you are a far greater person than you ever dreamed of being".
For a very useful yoga manual for both beginners and advanced, I recommend the practice manual Ashtanga Yoga by David Swenson.
Very beautiful, clear, and born just to be used as a practical guide to follow step by step for all the most important positions of Hatha Yoga.
A very important plus of this manual is the presence of illustrations with different degrees of progression for each position. This also allows beginners to start a correct practice and in total safety.
And have you ever rolled out the yoga mat? or you have practiced some form of meditation? what impression did he make on you? reply by writing your comment at the bottom of the article in the appropriate form.
See you soon,
PS If you found the article useful, share it using the buttons at the bottom of the article. For you it's a small action but for me it means a lot!
Sources and resources:
1. 'Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference”By Norman A. and coll.
2. 'Stress duration modulates the spatiotemporal patterns of spine formation in the basolateral amygdala"of Rupshi Mitra and coll.
3. 'Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density"by Hölzel BKe coll.
4. 'A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation”By Rosenkranz MA. and coll.
5. 'The rate of leukocyte telomere shortening predicts mortality from cardiovascular disease in elderly men”By Elissa S. Epel and coll.
6. 'Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress”By Elissa S. Epel and coll.
7. 'Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study"By Ornish D. et al.
8. 'Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators”By Jacobs TL. and coll.
9. "Healing with meditation" by Jon kabat-Zinn - AMRITA editions
"Ashtanga Yoga - practice manual" by David Swenson - Are You Practicing editions?
"Protection throughout the life span: the psychoneuroimmunologic impact of Indo-Tibetan meditative and yogic practices”By Olivo EL.
"The science of yoga - comment on Patanjali's Yogasutra in the light of modern thought" by IK Taimni, publisher Ubaldini.
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