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Benefits of Yoga Essay

In our modern society, yoga seems like a new trend, but it actually began more than three thousand years ago in India. The word “yoga” is Sanskrit means to “yoke,” or unite, the mind, body, and spirit. Although yoga includes physical exercise, it is also is a way of life for which exercise is just one element. The main components of yoga are based on training your mind, body, and breathing, as well as connecting with your spirituality. Within the last few centuries, innovations and urbanizations of our society have strongly influenced the way we live.

We strongly strive for that comfortable way of life, consisting of a balanced diet and a steady income. The way we eat to the way we find relaxation is much different from those of ancient times. Our food expectations have become increasingly high, resulting in bad health including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. To make our society a better one and lessen these problems, yoga is the perfect solution. Yoga is for everyone, including you. You can begin your practice at any age, in any physical condition or in any place where you can take a deep breath (Khalsa & Seibel 1).

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You should do yoga twice a week because it improves your weight control, expands your physical endurance, and enhances your sex life. Yoga improves your weight control. There have been many studies to determine whether yoga increases mindful eating and leads to less weight which stimulates weight loss. In one yoga study conducted by Alan Kristal and colleagues, they tested over fifteen thousand men and women in their mid-fifties. Out of those who had been normal weight at age forty-five, only one hundred of them had practiced yoga for four or more years at least thirty minutes weekly.

These subjects average weight gain was about three pounds less than the subjects who don’t do yoga. Another group of thirty subjects that had been overweight at age forty-five actually lost an average of five pounds compared to an average gain of thirteen pounds in non-yoga practitioners (“Yoga” 7). In multiple cases, yoga has shown to promote weight loss in people who are overweight and prevent weight gain in individuals of normal weight. People who engage in mindful eating can better conquer weight loss because they learn to make choices about their eating based on awareness of hunger and value quality rather than quantity of food.

In one particular study, researchers developed a Mindful Eating Questionnaire that addressed more than three hundred people on awareness, external cues, emotional response, and distraction. Of these subjects, more than forty percent practiced yoga more than one hour per week, another forty percent walked for an hour and a half per week, and more than fifty percent engaged in more than ninety minutes of moderate or strenuous physical exercise per week.

According to the results, body weight of the participants was within normal range, and the body mass index(BMI) was lower among people who practiced yoga compared to those who did not (“Yoga” 7). Researchers observed a relationship between higher scores on the mindfulness questionnaire and a lower BMI, which indicates that mindful eating may have an important role in long-term weight maintenance (Mitchell 5). “Mindfulness Eaters”– those who eat when they are depressed, anxious, or when they are not hungry are more likely to weigh more or to gain weight.

Alan Kristal explains, “From my experience, I think it has to do with the way that yoga makes you more aware of your body. So when you’ve eaten enough food, you’re sensitive to the feeling of being full and this makes it much easier to stop eating before you’ve eaten too much”(Sherman 186). Yoga improves your physical endurance. Everyone is familiar with the elliptical or treadmill, but yoga is an alternative workout that works your muscles just as efficiently.

According to Yoga studies conducted by University of California, a powerful yoga session averages a four-hundred and fifty five calorie-burn which is equivalent to any other cardiovascular exercise and has also been proven that yoga promotes cardiovascular benefits (Sherman 186). This is an exercise that offers assistance to individuals with multiple diseases including sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease or heart failure. Yoga helps individuals reach other physical activity goals through helping them with flexibility and balance and strengthening their muscles and bones.

Yoga enhances and promotes a healthy sex life. Yoga gives you greater flexibility and muscle tone. Better sex… really? Practicing yoga will add numerous physical and emotional benefits to time you spend with your partner in the bed. If you’re looking for some guidance on a greater sex life or just spontaneity, there have been plenty of studies on this topic to show the truth. “Sexually active people tend to live longer and have a lower incidence of heart disease,” says Beverly Whipple, Ph. D. , co-author of The Science of Orgasm (Johns Hopkins, 2006).

According to Whipple’s research, hormones and brain chemicals released during orgasm help manage acute and chronic pain (Isaacs 15). According to Whipple’s research, hormones and brain chemicals released during orgasm help manage acute and chronic pain. In other studies it sex can also fight depression and weight gain. In yoga, you can learn many different positions. You also learn how to become much more flexible and more confident with your body. Yoga helps enhance the body’s core strength and sexual energy. But how does yoga really help? It makes you flexible, tougher, and self-confident; in and out of the sheets. The more time you spend on the mat, the more steamy your time in the bedroom,” says Jacquie Noelle Greaux, a yoga instructor and co-author of Better Sex through Yoga (Isaacs 16). Similar to Kegel exercises, movements such as the Root Lock or Mula Bandha can toughen the pelvic-floor thus improving the intensity of your orgasms. Yoga experts believe that “sexuality is stored in the hip and pelvic area” (Isaacs 16). Other Yoga poses like “Bound Angle” and “Wide-Legged Forward Bend” “increase blood flow” to the hip and pelvic area (Isaacs 16), which enhances sexual compassion and pleasure. Feeling good about your body is sexy.

Outside of increasing your sex life, poses like Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) work hard in building your strength and stamina. Additionally, yoga teaches self-acceptance allowing you to feel less self-conscious and more confident about your body. Want to make your sex life even better than that? By practicing yoga with your lover, you can both enjoy the benefits and grow closer in the process. Greaux explains, “Couple’s yoga is like foreplay: You’re breathing, sweating, and moving together and when the sheets are untangled, the fruits of your practice can have a long-lasting outcome”(Isaacs 15).

Doing yoga with your partner can be very effective for your sexual life. Engaging in yoga with your partner supports a physical, emotional, and mental connection between the two of you. Whether you do yoga once, twice, or three times a week… the more the better. Yoga offers so many benefits, why wouldn’t you want to do it? It improves your weight control, physical endurance, and your sex life. Not only does it augment your physical aspects of life, but your social life as well. It has also been said that yoga has a progressive effect on learning and memory.

There are still questions as to what other happiness yoga brings to us. All in all, yoga is a positive exercise that can change your body, mind, and soul in a safe, positive way.

Works Cited Boehde, Dawn, and Porcari, John. “Yoga Physical Benefits for Muscle Toning and Weight Loss. ” Health Fitness Guide, Physical Fitness Health Nutrition Guide, Healthy Diets, Weight Loss Pills, Home Gym Fitness Equipment Store. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. <http://www. fuelthemind. com/health/fitness/pilates_yoga/what_is_yoga. html>. Isaacs, Nora. The Yoga of Joyful Sex. ” Remote Access to UMUC Library Resources – UMUC. Health Source – Consumer Edition, July-Aug. 2007. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. <http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. umuc. edu/ehost/detail? vid=27&hid=6&[email protected]&bdata=JmxvZ2luLmFzcCZzaXRlPWVob3N0LWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ==#db=hxh&AN=26138135>. Mitchell, Deborah. “Yoga Helps With Weight Loss. ” Emaxhealth: Daily Health News. Center for Mindful Eating, 19 Sept. 2009. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://www. emaxhealth. om/1275/62/33510/yoga-helps-weight-loss. html>. Pascale, Kavanagh. “Yoga. ” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. Aug. -Sept. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <http://kidshealth. org/teen/food_fitness/exercise/yoga. html>. Seibel, Machelle M. A Woman’s Book of Yoga: Embracing Our Natural Life Cycles. New York: Avery, 2002. Print. Sherman, Alexa Joy “TOTAL BODY POWER YOGA. ” Source Nov. 2004: 186-91. Health Source: Consumer Edition. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. <http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. umuc. edu/ehost/detail? vid=17&amp

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