Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation are often associated together, as yoga includes aspects of meditation in its practices. Both offer a myriad of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits to help you take control of your health from the inside out.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient tradition that originated in India over five thousand years ago, and its roots can be traced back to the Vedic scriptures. Yoga was first developed by Brahmans, who had a fascination with the human body and believed that one could achieve enlightenment through this exploration of their physical-spiritual connections.
The first systematic presentation of yoga was found in Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras, written some time in the second century A.D., which describes the path of Raja Yoga, now known as classical yoga. Classical yoga consisted of the “eight-limbed path,” which were eight steps towards Samadhi or enlightenment. Though the practice of yoga has evolved over time and many different styles have been created, Patanjali is still considered the father of yoga, as his Raja Yoga has greatly influenced most forms of modern yoga.
Yoga is a form of physical exercise, a way to relax and relieve stress, and a spiritual discipline. The physical aspect involves linking breath and movement in techniques drawn from several ancient traditions. The mental element includes concentration developed through meditation, which is done before or during the exercise.
What is Meditation?
In the 21st century, meditation is more popular than ever before. But it is not a new phenomenon. In fact, meditation has roots that go back thousands of years and can be found in most cultures around the world.
Meditation practices date back to at least 1500 BCE and are mentioned in ancient texts from many different cultures and religions including China, Japan, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity. In the 19th century, there was an increased interest in Western culture which led to scientific research into its benefits for mental health such as stress reduction and improved immune function. The modern practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) was founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Since then, meditation has become increasingly more common, playing a central role in numerous religious traditions and rituals, as well as helping individuals with their mental and physical well being.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice of focused attention on one’s breath, body, and thoughts. It can be practiced with the guidance of a teacher or self-taught. Through these practices, one comes to inhabit the present moment and gain insight into their relationship to their thoughts and feelings.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Physical Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is considered a safe form of physical activity when it is done properly, and under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Some physical benefits of practicing yoga and meditation may include:
- Alleviates chronic low back pain and neck pain
- Enhances flexibility
- Increases strength in muscles and bones
- Improves your balance
- Helps your breathing and sleep quality
- Boosts weight loss
- Eases arthritis symptoms
- Stimulates digestion
- Reduces fatigue
- Improves your heart health
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Strengthens your immune system
- Helps your metabolism
- Assists in smoking cessation by reducing cigarette cravings
- Reduces risk of injury or pain when exercising
- Improved athletic performance
Mental Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Not only does yoga and meditation offer a variety of physical benefits, but it may also improve your overall emotional and spiritual health.
- Reduces anxiety
- Alleviates stress
- Helps you to stay focused in the present moment
- Eases depression
- Bolsters concentration
- Fosters a sense of internal peace
- Boosts your mood and energy
- Enhances mental clarity and calmness
Contact Outset Health
At Outset Health, we are 100% committed to optimizing your overall well-being in any way we can. While yoga and meditation are great, there are so many other ways to benefit your overall health, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). To learn more, contact us today here, or call (866) 932-0632.