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Is Yoga Good For Your Spine?
Yoga is a physical and mental exercise that has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy. Different styles of yoga combine body postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation or meditation.
With 5,000 years of yoga in the background, the word “yoga” has undergone a renaissance in today’s society, trading out the loincloth for bodysuits and leggings.
Yoga is now popular as an asana (body assessment) based physical exercise to encourage greater control over the mind and body and enhance a sense of well-being, helping to avoid many spinal problems and back pain.
Here are some facts about yoga:
The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” which means “to bind or join.” Some believe it means a union of mind and body.
According to a 2008 market study, approximately 16 million people in the United States practice yoga and spend at least $5.7 billion annually on yoga equipment.
Hatha yoga is the type of yoga most commonly practiced in Western cultures. “Ha” means “sun” and “tha” means “moon”.
There are many styles of yoga. An individual’s fitness level and desired practice results determine which yoga class is best for them.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 there were more than 7,369 yoga-related accidents in doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency areas.
Overstretching of the spine, neck, legs, shoulders, and knees, as well as repetitive strain injuries, are just some of the common injuries in yoga.
Even the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) agrees that the benefits of yoga outweigh the potential physical dangers.
Yoga is described as having eight limbs or branches: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyhara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
Practicing yoga has many possible health benefits, including relieving lower back pain, helping with anxiety, and increasing flexibility and balance.
There is some evidence that pregnant women who take yoga classes are much less likely to have problems in subsequent pregnancies and deliveries.
The inventor of yoga does not have any written documents. Yogis (Yoga practitioners) have been practicing yoga long before there was any written record. For thousands of years, yogis have taught the discipline to their students, and as the practice’s international reach and popularity has expanded, several different schools of yoga have developed.
Sanskrit is the Indo-European term for the Vedas, India’s early spiritual texts, which also gave birth to literature and yoga methods. The Yoga Sutras, a 2,000-year-old treatise on the yoga teachings of the Indian sage Patanjali, serve as a guidebook on the best ways to control your thoughts and emotions, as well as advice on spiritual development. recommendations, providing the framework upon which yoga is practiced today.
The Yoga Sutra is the earliest written record of yoga and one of the oldest existing documents.
The word “yoga” in Sanskrit has many translations and can have many translations. The aim of many translations is to translate “to yoke,” “join,” or “focus”—essentially a way of unity or a process of discipline. Men who practice the subject are known as yogis or yogis, and women professionals are known as yogis.
Now in many facilities around the world, postures are an integral part of health and fitness and were not originally a major part of the Indian yoga tradition. Fitness is not the main purpose of the training; the focus is on other practices such as pranayama (expanding all-important energy through the breath), Dharana (the ability to focus attention, or the ability to place emotions), and nada (sound).
Yoga began to gain acceptance in the West in the late 19th century, and interest in Pilates exploded in the 1920s and 30s, first in India and later in the West.
different types of yoga
Modern forms of yoga have evolved significantly into exercises that focus on strength, flexibility, and breathing to promote physical and mental health. There are many types of yoga, and none is more authentic or superior than another. The secret is to choose a class that suits your fitness level.
Types and styles of yoga:
- Ashtanga Yoga: An ancient yoga teaching discovered in the 1970s states that each of the six pose sequences connects rapidly to every movement of the body.
- Hot yoga: Kept in a heated room with a temperature close to 105 degrees and 40% humidity, Bikram is thus a collection of 26 poses and two chains of breathing exercises.
- Hatha Yoga: A general term for any type of yoga that teaches body postures. When a class is labeled “hatha,” it’s usually a gentle introduction to basic yoga poses.
- Iyengar Yoga: Focus on finding proper alignment in each pose and utilize props such as blocks, blankets, straps, chairs and cushions to achieve this
- Jivamukti Yoga: Meaning, “living liberation,” Jivamukti Yoga emerged in 1984 as a blend of religious teachings and vinyasa-designed practices. Each class has a theme, explored through yoga scriptures, chanting, meditation, asanas, pranayama and song, and possibly physical limits.
- Kripalu Yoga: Teach practitioners to understand, accept and learn from your system. In the Kripalu classroom, each student chooses to look inward to find their own level of training on specific nights and days. Classes typically begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches, followed by a series of patient poses and a final relaxation.
- Kundalini Yoga: The Sanskrit word kundalini means coiled like a snake. Kundalini Yoga is a system of meditation designed to release the energy of Kundalini. A class usually begins with a bounce and ends with singing, and also takes place between asanas, pranayama and meditation, aimed at achieving a specific effect.
- Power Yoga: An energetic and athletic form of yoga in the late 80’s using traditional Ashtanga methods.
- Sivananda: A system based on a five-point philosophy that holds that proper breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking interact to produce a healthy yogic lifestyle. Usually the same 12 basic asanas are used, ending with the sun salutation and the savasana gift.
- Pooh Yoga: To accommodate anyone, regardless of physical skill, viniyoga educators need to be trained and tend to be experts in anatomy and healing.
- Negative: A quiet, meditative yoga practice, also known as Taoist yoga. Yin yoga releases tension in the joints: ankles, knees, hips, entire back, neck and shoulders. The vagina is passive, which means the muscles must relax under the force of gravity.
- Prenatal Yoga: Yoga poses specially designed for pregnant women. Prenatal yoga is designed to help people at all stages of pregnancy and can help people get back in shape after pregnancy.
- Restorative Yoga: A relaxing style of yoga, using props like blankets to throw in a class in four to five easy poses and reinforce deep relaxation without struggling to hold the poses.
Benefits of doing yoga
1. Improve your flexibility
Increased flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you may not be able to touch your toes, let alone backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice gradual relaxation, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You may also notice that the pain starts to go away. This is no coincidence. Tight shoulders can lead to knee injuries due to improper alignment of the thighs and shins. Tight hamstrings can cause part of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. Inflexibility of muscles and connective tissues such as fascia and ligaments can lead to poor posture.
2. Build muscle strength
Strong muscles aren’t just about looking great. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in older men and women. When you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you’ve just moved into the gym and lifted weights, you’re probably building strength at the expense of flexibility.
3. Perfect your posture
Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When your head is perfectly balanced on your vertical spine, your back and neck muscles have less work to support your head. However, move it forward a few inches and you’ll start straining those muscles too. Imagine leaning forward and holding a bowling ball for 8 to 12 hours a day, no wonder you’re tired! Fatigue may not be your only problem. Poor posture can lead to neck, back and other joint and muscle problems. When you sag, your body compensates for the standard inward curve flattening of the neck and lower back. This can lead to spinal pain and degenerative arthritis.
4. Prevent joint and cartilage breakdown
Every time you practice yoga, you simply let your muscles do the entire exercise selection. This can help prevent osteoarthritis or lessen the disorder by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that are not normally used. Articular cartilage is like a sponge; it receives new nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be absorbed. Without proper nourishment, the failed areas of cartilage can eventually wear away, revealing the bone-like worn brake pads underneath.
5. Protect your spine
Intervertebral discs — the shock absorbers between vertebrae that can protrude and compress nerves — crave movement. This is the only way they get their nutrition. Once you practice balanced asana postures and do lots of forward bends, backward bends, and twists, you’ll be able to maintain the flexibility of your discs.
6. Helps you focus
An important part of yoga is focusing on the present moment. Studies have found that regular yoga practice can improve coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. Those who practiced Transcendental Meditation showed and gained better ability to remember information and solve problems because of their better focus. They are less distracted by their own thoughts, which sometimes play out over and over again like an endless loop.
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