8 Benefits of Hatha Yoga are Making it Popular
Hatha Yoga or simply â€œYoga’Â finds its roots in the ancient Indian customs. The word Hatha Yoga is a system of various â€œasanas’Â, a Sanskrit word meaning â€œpostures’Â, which exercises the body through mild stretches and movements. Each asana or posture is meant to be held for some time before it segues to the next. Like many other forms of exercise, Hatha Yoga contributes to keeping the body flexible and developing strength and balance. Since Hatha Yoga is founded on Hindu spiritual and religious practices, on a larger aspect, it also involves expansion of mental and spiritual power. Yoga is based on the concept of â€œone-pointedness’Â which means, to channelize one’s thoughts and energy at one point. This is also the basis of meditation which forms an integral part of Yoga.
Yoga practices can get strenuous and demanding in the advanced stages. According to Hindu scriptures there are around 8,400,000 asanas in Hatha Yoga. 12 of these encompass the fundamentals of the practice. Though most of the asanas involve physical posturing, a large part of the practice concentrates on certain breathing exercises, called ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“pranayama’. Short episodes of meditation invariably act as interregnum between the periods of physical and breathing exercises.
The following are the several benefits of Hatha Yoga that makes it a popular form of physical exercise:
- Hatha Yoga promotes physical flexibility, strength and balance through working on the upkeep of the spine. It keeps the body agile and hence younger, as energy and litheness are often equated with youth.
- Studies have pointed towards the effects of yoga in reducing stress and hypertension. Various researches conducted has shown Hatha yoga to have noticeable positive effects on people who were psychologically suffering from stress and tension. It has also been found to have mollifying effect on depression too. Researches are now being conducted to find if Hatha Yoga could have any possible positive effects on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
- Some studies have also suggested that yoga helps in decreasing exhaustion caused to cancer patients because of prolonged treatment. The cancer patients who participated in such research studies have said to feel less exhausted after having being in some form of a yogic program.
- It is also possible to perk up the immune system and digestive system of the body through the practice of Hatha Yoga. This form of exercise also aids in the process of cleansing the body through elimination of toxic matter.
- Brisk practices of the asanas help to burn off fat, thereby aiding in weight reduction and general well being.
- Hatha yoga has shown to have a curative effect on people suffering from asthma.
- It has demonstrated to have provided some relief in pain-related conditions like migraine, back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and labor pain.
- Hatha yoga is also finding increasing acceptance as a healing tool for nervous and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, epileptic seizures, eating disorders and OCDs (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders).
Though the benefits are abundant, there have been few thorough and controlled research trials in ascertaining the benefits with precision. More so because certain fundamental impediments, like funding, etc. have also thwarted it. That being said; it is also true that about 7.5% of U.S. adults (as per a study) have tried yoga at some point in their life. There are hundreds of yoga schools imparting lessons to millions who have experienced or believe in the balancing and healing powers of this practice.