Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning to yoke or unite the source of our being.Yoga is a combination of poses and postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and meditation that focuses on stress reduction, and toning muscles. This is achieved through slow, dynamic movement.
These techniques increase strength, endurance and energy. There is low risk of injury to muscles and ligaments as it is a non-competitive exercise regiment performed at one’s own pace.
We discuss the ill effects of stress on the body.
In a Cleveland Clinic web post, you can read about the strange things stress can do to the body which include:
1. Muscles and joints
Stress can cause pain, tightness or soreness in your muscles, as well as spasms of pain. It can lead to flare-ups of symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions. That’s because stress lowers your threshold for pain.
2. Heart and lungs
Too much of the stress hormone cortisol may make heart and lung conditions worse. These include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and asthma. If you have pain or tightness in your chest or heart palpitations, see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out a serious condition.
3. Skin and hair
If you have a skin condition such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, stress can make it worse. It also can lead to hives and itchiness, excessive sweating and even hair loss.
Stress really shows in your digestive system — from simpler symptoms such as pain, gas, diarrhea and constipation to more complex conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux (GERD).
When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance
Meditation and illness
Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.
With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches
Types of meditation
Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.
Ways to meditate can include:
- Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.