Friday, October 5, 2012

benefits of Yoga

At first I was looking on line and wanted to share with you what is written about all the great benefits you get from having a good yoga practice. and I did add some articles I found which you can read future down the page. but I realized - I been doing yoga for some time now, why don't I write about MY OWN experience and what benefits I have gained from the practice and leaving the technical stuff out for now. and so here we go ;

 Just a BIT of my physical fitness history AND mental state ;)
I have always worked out!
running, swimming, bit of a gym rat at some stages, some martial art and all sort of out door activities. the reason I mention this is to let you know that no mater what physical exercise you may start doing - if you have NOT been active for a while - you will feel better on most levels. so this was NOT the case for me. I have been active all my life!

On a mental note;
I would say I had a busy head that would anger easily.
my ability to focus on any one thing for a while was lacking.
no clear idea on what I actually wanted to do and was easy to get off any idea due to lack of motivation, border line depression.
on the 'out side' you would say ; cool guy, creative, funny, bit rough around the edges
but in my inside was not a place of love, peace and joy ;)

And so, Yoga!
Right from the start Yoga was NOT just a physical workout for me ( and if it is or will be for you that is GREAT ) yoga was a workout for my mind as well!
it was/is like meditation in motion for me and a workout for my concentration and awareness skills. so I guess that's why I am talking about the benefits of Yoga on both physical and mental plains. they do go hand in hand, don't they?

The stiffness of the body was shocking to me. 
here I was - an active healthy man - stiff! stuck.
that was the first thing I noticed.
then, realizing all the mussels I never used in other exercises and seeing other people, who look way out of shape compared to me, doing things I could not do AT ALL, simple things like laying on the stomach and lifting the legs as high as you can... not to mention many of the balancing poses.

First physical benefits I notice

  • flexibility. there is a lot of stretching going on in a typical yoga class. opening up the body. 
  • stability, strength and balance. due to the use of all the mussels I had not worked out in the past + much of the core strengthening that goes on in class. I can't say I felt stronger then the gym days but I did feel more solid all around.     
  • sleep. yes, I was sleeping better. AND waking up in the mornings ready to go.
  • digestion and regularity. let's just say things are moving better.
  •  posture. paying more attention to the way my body is while standing, sitting, walking and even laying down.  


  • Calmer. I call it; I'm in my Zen zone ;)
  • Higher energy. just an over all positive drive to do things
  • Focus and concentration. read and study better 
  • Happy. ;-) yup, just a happier look at life and myself
  • Less negative head chatter. I think that may be called higher (healthy) self esteem.
  • Meditation. never better! and I want to take a moment here and say a thing or two:
I have been practicing meditations for many years - NOTHING has ever help my meditation practice more then yoga. this to me is a big deal that I really want to share with people who are trying meditation practices. no mater which meditation practice I was doing I always found them challenging, I still do but if one can say he is better in meditation now, then I will say that yoga took my meditation to a whole new level and I would HIGHLY recommend
a good yoga class to any one who is practicing meditation.


here are some notes from the yoga teacher training I did:

According to Yoga psychology, stress is a result of our perception of events, not just a result of the events themselves. If looked in this way, we have the potential to reduce our stress level by changing our perception and response to the events in our lives. The science of yoga includes an array of techniques to reduce stress and help change our outlook.  


Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.


Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two can reduce pain for people with conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through their practice of yoga.


Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing the range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Gradually they begin to use the correct muscles. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible. Yoga also helps to improve body alignment resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscles problems.


Yoga poses use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while these postures strengthen the body they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.


Yoga can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self esteem.


Yoga helps to improve circulation and as a result of various postures, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.


Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.


Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relation responses and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.


Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind-body health. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.


The meditative aspects of yoga help many to reach a deeper, more spiritual and more satisfying place in their lives. Many who begin practice for other reasons have reported this to be the key reason that yoga has become an essential part of their lives.

Ok so here are some of the things I found online as well 
this article  by: and

Physiological Benefits of Yoga

  • Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
  • Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
  • EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
  • EMG activity decreases
  • Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  • Respiratory efficiency increases
  • Gastrointestinal function normalizes
  • Endocrine function normalizes
  • Excretory functions improve
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  • Breath-holding time increases
  • Joint range of motion increase
  • Grip strength increases
  • Eye-hand coordination improves
  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Sleep improves
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Balance improves
  • Integrated functioning of body parts improves
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
  • Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
  • Social adjustment increases
  • Anxiety and Depression decrease
  • Hostility decreases
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Attention improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Mood improves
  • Self-actualization increase
  • Social skills increases
  • Well-being increases
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Self-acceptance increase
  • Attention improves
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Symbol coding improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Flicker fusion frequency improves

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga

  • Glucose decreases
  • Sodium decreases
  • Total cholesterol decreases
  • Triglycerides decrease
  • HDL cholesterol increases
  • LDL cholesterol decreases
  • VLDL cholesterol decreases
  • Cholinesterase increases
  • Catecholamines decrease
  • ATPase increases
  • Hematocrit increases
  • Hemoglobin increases
  • Lymphocyte count increases
  • Total white blood cell count decreases
  • Thyroxin increases
  • Vitamin C increases
  • Total serum protein increases

Yoga Health Benefits versus Exercise Benefits

Yoga versus Exercise
  • Yoga Benefits
    • ParasympatheticNervous Systemdominates
    • Subcortical regions of brain dominate
    • Slow dynamic and static movements
    • Normalization of muscle tone
    • Low risk of injuring muscles and ligaments
    • Low caloric consumption
    • Effort is minimized, relaxed
    • Energizing (breathing is natural or controlled)
    • Balanced activity of opposing muscle groups
    • Noncompetitive, process-oriented
    • Awareness is internal (focus is on breath and the infinite)
    • Limitless possibilities for growth in self-awareness

  • Exercise Benefits
    • Sympathetic Nervous System dominates
    • Cortical regions of brain dominate
    • Rapid forceful movements
    • Increased muscle tension
    • Higher risk of injury
    • Moderate to high caloric consumption
    • Effort is maximized
    • Fatiguing (breathing is taxed)
    • Imbalance activity of opposing groups
    • Competitive, goal-oriented
    • Awareness is external (focus is on reaching the toes, reaching the finish line, etc.)
    • Boredom factor


  1. This form of Dahn Yoga is meant for people who are looking for a path to god. Also called the Yoga of devotion, it is commonly practiced amongst 'yogis' in India and its goals are spiritual and not fitness.

  2. DreamHost is ultimately one of the best web-hosting provider for any hosting services you might need.