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“I am richer.” I thought he had not understood my question, hence I repeated “ What are the benefits that you have experienced after practicing Yoga?” Once again he replied, “I am richer now”

He went on to explain that he was a man who always experienced stress related to his financial condition. At the time he had started Yoga class, he was experiencing unprecedented financial challenges. Yet few days into the practice, he felt unburdened. “Though the situation had not changed, something inside me had changed and I was no longer bogged down by the issues. Unlike before, thanks to Yoga practice, I was able to focus on rebuilding my life joyfully, and thus I am richer now. Tomorrow once again my money may vanish, but with Yoga, I know I can overcome the situation and not wind up in the hospital.”

Yoga is the union of your body, breath and mind. People flock to Yoga, for various reasons – to release stress, to treat a back pain, to lose weight etc. Benefits of Yoga are many. Some of them are mentioned below.

Common Benefits of Yoga

  • Improved flexibility, but did you know that asana is among the best way to build overall muscular strength. It promotes long lean muscles that are resilient to injury. Flexibility in boy triggers adaptability in mind and strength of body goes hand in hand with increase in will power.
  • Latest research indicates that sitting long hours is almost as injurious to health as smoking. Yoga with its bends, twists and inversions helps undo the damages of poor posture circulation caused by our sedentary lifestyle.
  • Muscle mass and bone density increases with Yoga postures, at the same time helps burn fat. Weight loss that people often note on their weighing scale due to aerobic activities are often muscle mass loss rather than fat loss.  Yoga can be ideal if your health goal is to get lean and toned. Yoga releases many happy hormones and also brings down cravings both are necessary to stay motivated and fit.
  • A primary way body loses the fat is through breathing out carbon dioxide,  so incorporate breathing techniques like Ujjayi and Yogic breathing to your activities for faster  fat burn.
  • Yoga helps combat aches pains, by either treating the cause of the pain be it lactic acid build up, muscle spasm or poor circulation.Yoga helps you regulate the pain and make it manageable if the pain can’t be done away with.
  • Improved circulation, better oxygenation, detoxification,  improved immunity, better sleep, youthful skin texture can be taken for granted with Yoga.
  • Yoga helps regulate hormones and helps relax not just physically but also mentally. Digestion and elimination begins to improve.
  • Mental focus, clarity and ability to learn a well as to multi task improves with Yoga. Great addition for children and adults who lack focus.
  • Lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiac problems, asthma, obesity can be wonderfully managed with Yoga. Techniques like Yoga Nidra are great for those suffering from fatal diseases.
  • Even 15 minutes of mindfulness, practiced for few weeks can make a drastic change to your mental faculties.
  • Yoga improves your overall metabolic health – this means you burn more calories in a day.
  • It shows great promise in improving overall brain functions – especially by reducing stress, increasing focus thereby improving your productivity.

Unexpected Benefits

Here are some of the unexpected benefits of yoga I have encountered at Me Met Me.  One or the other may inspire you to take up Yoga and make it part of your lifestyle.

“I used to get teary eyed, each time I saw my Ex at work, I used to avoid her. Few days of practicing heart opening poses,  I walked into an official meeting, she was also there, and I was fine. I neither felt hurt, nor bitter…Life is good now.”

“I refused to ride my bike after an accident. But one day we decided to face our fears, with pranayama and mindfulness techniques I am back on the wheels now.”

“Earlier I was on pills for depression. But now people who come to my boutique, they leave smiling and they always ask – how do I smile so much?”

“I not just lowered my cholesterol, I went on to win a badminton tournament.  Yoga has made me agile and stronger.”

“With Yoga, I now require just half the time to finish my chores.”

“I can eat cakes now that I am no longer allergic to them.”

“Thanks to headstands my scores have improved and I am no longer stressed before the examination.”

Personally, Yoga came to me at my darkest hour, it gave me strength to rebuild my life.

Yoga is not just asanas, but a lifestyle and a philosophy. Many styles of asana practice have evolved over the years, some give you a super challenging workout whereas others give you the most gentle soothing relaxing time.  Based on your health conditions and life stage (age, working hours etc) choose a session that suits you the best. As Iyengar remarked, “Yoga is a light, that once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame”

Author : Nuthan Manohar

About the author : Nuthan Manohar, Founder of Me Met Me is an international trainer, published researcher and a two-time TEDx speaker on wellbeing.