Yoga as a tool to maintain and improve mental and physical health and full fitness

Yoga is a life philosophy from India and a system of physical, mental and breathing exercises that dates back 4000 years. There are at least several dozen varieties of yoga. Each differs significantly from the other both in theory and practice. As an art of exploring the world, yoga functions in many religions – not only in Hinduism, but also in Buddhism or Jainism. What is known today as “yoga” refers to specific practices – a combination of asanas, pranayama (the art of breathing) and meditation. Such activities are classified as hatha-yoga.

A brief history of yoga

It is difficult to talk about a short history of yoga, if its oldest traces date back to 3300 BC. Found artifacts – terracotta figurines imitating human figures in characteristic poses – testify to the ancient practices. The next key mentions of the philosophy come from the oldest sacred books of Hinduism (Vedas). The basis of modern yoga is found in the eighth century BC. (Upanishads). The first treatise entirely devoted to yoga was born in the third century BC. However, the culminating stage of its development falls on the 1st century BC. – It was the time of codification and ordering of previously known practices. The following centuries were devoted to the development of alternative varieties of meditative traditions and the popularization of yoga techniques.

What is yoga?

Let us focus on the currently given definition of yoga as a modern health activity. Discussing it in a broader philosophical context for many could be not only boring but also tiresome. Simply put, yoga is a training of the body and soul. It consists of many postures (asanas) and states. It is versatile, accessible to anyone regardless of age or gender, and can be done almost anywhere – at home, on vacation, outdoors, in special classes, etc. Gradual mastery of each successive yoga pose translates into control of the body’s urges, nerves or whims – anything that limits an individual in personal growth and self-improvement.

Effects of yoga on human health

Yoga as a physical activity affects all systems and organs of the human body. The first health effects can be noticed after just one month of regular practice. Asanas, or yoga postures, work the body in four planes: stretching, strengthening, pressure and relaxation. Pranayma, on the other hand – meditation combined with breathing techniques – promotes purification of the nervous system, as well as general detoxification of the body. It facilitates control of emotions and calmness.

Yoga and weight loss

Although yoga exercises take a rather static form, this activity is perfect if you want to reduce excess weight. Properly selected positions, implemented gradually, affect the deepest muscle structures. As mentioned earlier – there are many types of yoga. Most modern activities are based on hatha-yoga with elements of others. When losing weight, it is best to choose hatha-yoga with elements of ashtanga-yoga or hatha-yoga with elements of bikram-yoga.

  • Ashtanga yoga is also called dynamic yoga. It is based on an eight-step path. The key to success is the experience and realization of all the following points: yama (moral principles), niyama (self-work), asana (physical exercises), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense control), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (self realization). The final step is total enlightenment – coming to terms with one’s self. Despite appearances, Ashtanga Yoga exercises are very demanding. Each successive position increases the strength and flexibility of muscles and tendons. The effects are visible after each practice.
  • Bikram-yoga is based on basic hatha-yoga exercises, with the difference that they are performed in appropriate conditions – in 40-degree temperature, with high humidity (up to 50%). Due to the specification, such activity is possible only in specific, previously prepared places. High temperature and humidity significantly raise the bar, making the exercises even more intense than under normal conditions.

It is estimated that one and a half hour yoga classes allow to burn up to 1000 kcal.
Systematic exercise (at least three times a week) accelerates the process of cleansing the body, adding energy. Increased resistance to stress, decreased appetite, less tendency to snack and increased demand for more nutritious, “green” products helps to achieve the desired weight in a very short time.

Yoga and the treatment of physical illness

Yoga is a versatile modality that affects virtually the entire body. Practiced regularly and gradually, it increases flexibility of the spine and joint mobility. It is perfect for people struggling with various types of pain. Adequate oxygenation of the body contributes to lowering blood pressure and improving lung capacity (makes it easier to breathe). This is especially important in asthma. It is also impossible not to mention the fact that yoga perfectly affects the entire endocrine system, including normalizing blood sugar levels. In addition:

  • increases overall fitness, makes the body stronger and more flexible, less susceptible to injury, slows down the natural wear and tear of tissues, and increases fluidity of movement
  • regulates cholesterol, as well as glucose, sodium and triglycerides, increases ATP levels, increases antioxidants and stimulates the body to self-cleaning and self-healing;
  • delays the aging process of cartilage, thus reducing the risk of fractures or diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis
  • reduces the risk of lifestyle diseases (overweight, obesity, stroke, atherosclerosis, diabetes or heart attack)
  • improves digestion, stimulates metabolism and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal diseases;
  • helps to tame “female problems”, stimulates endocrine glands, strengthens pelvic floor muscles (reduces the risk of premature birth), and alleviates pregnancy disorders.

Yoga and the treatment of mental illness

Scientific research shows that yoga contributes to stress reduction by reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-adrenal axis. It also decreases salivary cortisol, plasma renin, blood sugar, and the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, as well as inflammatory markers that appear in the body due to stress. Regularly practiced yoga has a key impact on the human psyche – it increases an individual’s adaptability, whether in terms of thinking, behavior or emotions. The practice not only facilitates stress management, but also reduces the tendency to irritability and increases self-efficacy. It reduces symptoms of depression, promotes treatment of phobias, neurosis, obsessions, sadness, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and insomnia. Studies have shown that when used by chronically, terminally ill people, it improves their quality of life.

Yoga for every stage of life

Although yoga is a universal solution, recommended practically to everyone, regardless of age, there are several contraindications, limiting the possibility of its practice. As mentioned earlier – it relieves back pain, but we are talking about temporary ailments. In case of chronic diseases it is necessary to consult a doctor or a yoga teacher. Yoga is not recommended for people with balance problems or advanced osteoporosis. For safety reasons, uncontrolled workouts are not recommended for pregnant women. Such people should exercise only under the supervision of a trainer.

Yoga for kids

Yoga for children combines pleasant and useful. The introduction of traditional asanas should proceed much slower in case of the youngest, taking into account their friendly figures. As children get bored quickly, in order to encourage them to continue working, it is worth to use the picture method or bring the exercises to the form of play, for example pretending to be animals or mythical figures. If the training is too strict, the dog may be discouraged, so it should “wag its tail”, “lift a paw” or “dig a hole with one paw”. A departure from classical nomenclature is particularly important in this case.

Yoga for seniors

Yoga for seniors is based on exactly the same principles as any other yoga. However, in the case of people 65+ it helps to cope with additional limitations resulting from old age. Introducing regular physical activity, and in turn making the body more flexible and removing tension or stiffness caused by lack of movement, helps to reduce degeneration within the skeletal system. Yoga is designed to help seniors cope with everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, going shopping or running to the bus.

Yoga for beginners
Some tips on how to start practicing

  1. Does the right outfit matter?
    In the market you can find a number of fashion solutions dedicated to yoga classes. Contrary to popular belief, none of them are necessary for us. The key to success is loose, comfortable clothing. Just wear what you feel comfortable in.
  2. Is a mat necessary?
    A yoga mat is useful both in class and during home practice. However, this does not mean that you have to buy the most expensive product available in the store. A simple, classic PVC mat will suffice. However, it is important that it is non-slip.
  3. Does yoga go hand in hand with diet?
    Everything depends on individual resolutions. When it comes to eating before training, it is recommended to limit food intake to 2 hours before exercise. An empty stomach promotes steady and calm breathing.
  4. Why do I feel frustrated?
    Frustration is a typical symptom when you skip the basics and jump in at the deep end. Yoga is not as easy as it seems. Only gradually increasing the level of difficulty will allow you to tame your body.
  5. Does breath matter?
    Yes. Correct breathing technique translates into correct yoga training. The first classes, whether at home or in a club, should come down to learning pranayama.
  6. How often should i practice yoga?
    In this area the most important thing is regularity. It is better to practice 3 times a week for 30 minutes than once in 7 days for 1,5 hour.
  7. Is it possible to do yoga at home?
    Undoubtedly yes. Unfortunately, in your own four corners there are many temptations that you should watch out for. Training at home should be free from the Internet, children running around or dinner cooking behind the wall.

Yoga at home – where to start?

Finally, a few words about practicing yoga at home. Although it seems that practice under the supervision of a teacher is better, there is nothing that prevents you from learning yoga on your own. This solution is perfect for people who already have some basics and want to deepen them. What should you keep in mind when preparing for an activity at home?

First of all: the place. Not everyone has their own exercise room at home. Many people cannot afford to set aside a separate room for yoga. Sometimes finding a small corner is quite difficult. Yoga has the advantage that it can be practiced practically anywhere. All you need is a mat size surface on the floor. Note: place the mat directly on the floor, never on a carpet or rug.

Second: the equipment. You don’t need any expensive clothes or accessories to start practicing yoga at home. At first, loose, comfortable clothes and a simple, non-slip PVC mat will suffice. Attention: non-slip socks are only a marketing trick – yoga is practiced barefoot!

Third: instructional videos. You can find them for example on YouTube. For beginners simple pictures will also work.

Fourth: control. With yoga, control is crucial. You practice for yourself, not to impress others. Working through a maximum range of motion without the supervision of a trainer can be risky, so it’s a good idea to keep a well-being journal, including any discomfort the day after your workout.

Fifth: Posture. Yoga at home, especially for beginners, carries the risk of some mistakes. Lack of practice can lead to the deepening of improper movement patterns, and as a result – injuries. To avoid such problems, it is advisable to practice in front of a mirror or regularly contact a master to analyze the progress so far.

Sixth, regularity is very important in yoga. Although practicing at home you can choose yourself the time and place of training, it is worth to determine specific times or days of the week. In this way you will develop a certain routine, which will help in subsequent stages.

Seven: Savasana. Relaxation is as important as any other phase of yoga practice. Savasana is a pose in which the body absorbs the energy created during previous practice.

If you are experiencing any type of ailment in your body that you want to cure with natural methods – check out our health article!

Ayurveda. Alternative to the diseases of the modern world based on herbs

Despite the progressive development of science and medicine, our population is becoming weaker and more susceptible to disease from generation to generation.

In recent years, the number of people suffering from diabetes, atherosclerosis and overweight has increased so much that these diseases have become the diseases of civilization.

Despite highly developed medical care and a wide range of medications, we are still sick.

Why does this happen and are there any alternatives to the medications available in the pharmacies prescribed by doctors?

What is traditional medicine?

This type of medicine, also known as herbal medicine, was already known in ancient times. It is based on medicines made from medicinal plants and herbs.

But it’s not just about the herbs. Alternative medicine uses the broadly defined “natural goods”. Many problems use… …magnets! Their goodness is worth using, for example, to cure spinal pains (we describe such a product here – Magnetic Belt), or to help restore the body’s balance thanks to magnetic shoe inserts (those interested refer to the review of magnetic inserts).

Since the beginning of their existence, people have been confronted with various diseases. So they had to look for solutions that were available to them. Discovering the world around them, they noticed that certain species of plants showed healing effects.

A great contribution to the development of this medicine was made by ancient Egypt, but also by China or India (a little later).

There is no doubt that for centuries, herbs and plants have played an irreplaceable role in everyday life. However, today, especially in developed countries, with technological progress and the development of science, they have been quite wrongly forgotten.

Despite the trend to promote conventional medicine that focuses on treating the symptoms rather than the cause, herbal medicine is beginning to be appreciated again by an increasing number of people.

Herbal detoxification: How to improve the functioning of the whole body through herbal medicine?

Herbal detoxification is simply a treatment that cleanses the body of toxins.
Why is that important?

The body has the ability to self-clean itself, getting rid of what it does not need, including the work of the kidneys or the intestines.

However, when there are too many toxins, the organs stop excreting them.

Stress and “junk food” are the main factors that make our body overloaded, tired and full of toxins. Over time, it is unable to function properly, and we begin to get sick. Then we require medical attention…

There are many symptoms that indicate the bad state of the internal organs, but the most common are: exhaustion, nervousness, digestive problems, allergies, acne, immunosuppression, as well as the diseases of civilization mentioned at the beginning, such as diabetes.

Herbal detoxification is a great and, most importantly, effective way to cleanse the body of toxins. Aloe vera and green tea, for example, are excellent for cleansing the intestines. In turn, mottled thistle and dandelion are recommended for liver cleansing.

However, it is known that the proportions selected independently of the herbs may not give the expected results. Doses too small, frequency wrongly taken… It is easy to turn efforts and money into dust. That is why it is worth considering detoxifying products already prepared.

Herbs as natural cosmetics – is it worth attacking the body with chemicals?

The use of herbs in the context of health care is really huge. It is not limited only to the care of internal organs. Many herbs and plants are widely used to care for the condition of the skin, hair and nails, or to maintain proper weight. Even more – herbs are known to be succesfull in dealing with potency problems.

Taking care of your appearance is also a way to take care of your health and well-being.

The cosmetics available on the market contain chemicals that do not have a good effect on our health. Many people complain about allergies or skin changes after using them. In the long term, the body accepts an excess of artificial substances supplied by the skin.

It is worth looking for natural equivalents and using what nature gives us.

Many of us have skin problems. Some have too dry skin, others suffer from seborrhea and endless eczema. In nature we find many remedies for these problems. For example:

  • One of the natural skin remedies is horsetail. It not only improves your general condition, but also strengthens your hair and nails, protecting them from excessive falls and breaks.
  • For skin that tends to dry out, aloe vera, known for its moisturizing properties, can help.
  • The real relief for overly sensitive or allergic skin is chamomile.
  • Green tea masks can be a solution for oily skin. They soothe acne, work well on large pores. In case of serious problems with acne and seborrhea, also the tricolor violet and field thoughts can be helpful.
  • If we are diagnosed with psoriasis and seborrhea, we can try burdock treatment.
  • Goji berries, which have been used in the medicine of Asian countries for thousands of years, are definitely worth discussing in this topic. Thanks to their richness in vitamins, they are widely used in many diseases, for example, they effectively slow down the aging process of the skin.
  • If we have an overweight problem and we want to help our body in a natural way to fight the unnecessary kilos, we can safely reach the cardamom and ginger.
  • These spices speed up the metabolism and thus help burn fat. Ginger also has strong warming properties, so it can certainly be useful during winter evenings.
  • Sage may be useful for people who have excessive sweating problems as a result of, for example, inadequate thyroid or hormonal work. It not only helps in the fight against sweat, but also against its unpleasant odor. It is also used for the care of oily hair.

One of the most interesting products we have been able to try recently (and recommend without blinking) is Essensin Ear Oil. Ear oiling is also an art known since ancient times. It makes it possible to induce a purification process in the ear analogous to the natural one. The result is a regeneration of the ear’s skin and an improvement in the quality of the sounds that reach us.

Ayurvedic Medicine

The ancient and still living art of treatment.

It is one of the most ancient healing and philosophical systems. It originated in India and is still practiced in some Asian countries. In recent years it has also begun to gain popularity in Western countries.

The name itself consists of two words: ajus, which stands for life, and verda, meaning wisdom.

It can be understood as the wisdom of life, since this type of medicine focuses on the relationship between body, soul and mind, believing that together they form an inseparable whole.

Ayurvedic medicine deals with physical and mental health.

According to this philosophy, the universe is composed of elements that maintain the balance. Our body reflects this, so it also has its natural balance.

Every illness is an alteration of the natural order, so in order to recover, the balance between all spheres must be restored.

The treatment is based on herbal medicines – usually mixtures of different herbs or plant extracts.

Therapy may also include cleansing treatments, essential oil massages, yoga practice and working with emotions. A vegetarian diet, based on healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods, is recommended.

This medicine is particularly effective in the early stages of the disease, as well as in prevention.

Ayurvedic Ointments

Ayurvedic ointments deserve attention. They are made from the essence of herbs that grow in virgin areas of the Himalayas, where the air is still clean and unpolluted.

They are widely used for skin problems, demonstrating their effect:

  • …reassuring,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • antibacterial,
  • regenerating.

Thanks to its soothing and normalizing properties of the skin processes, it is recommended for people with acne or seborrhea problems.

It also relieves the pain and itching associated with insect bites.

It is also excellent for abrasions, cracked skin, burns, irritation and even bedsores.

Ayurvedic glasses

While delving into the subject of Ayurvedic medicine, it is impossible not to mention the plasma-free Ayurvedic glasses.

These glasses were invented thousands of years ago in the Far East, at a time when corrective eyewear did not exist.

Initially they were made of wood, today, plastic is used for their production.

At first glance they look like sunglasses. Instead of a lens, they have a black iris with several dozen holes.

The image reaches the eye through these same holes, yet is surprisingly sharp.

How do Ajuverdian glasses work?

Most visual impairments are based on a lack of adaptability – the eye cannot adapt to proper refraction.

Ayurvedic glasses naturally stimulate eye functions by turning off so-called peripheral vision. The sun’s rays reach the eye at a right angle and are not refracted.

In this way, the image you see is much sharper. Wearing them systematically, for 2-3 hours a day, is therefore a daily training for the eyes.

We encourage them to exercise, not allowing our visual disability to develop, while making their muscles stronger and more flexible.

It is truly remarkable that thousands of years ago people were able to create something that even today can be extremely useful for people with visual impairment!

Today’s world puts pressure on us, we are in a hurry somewhere and chasing something, living under constant stress…

We provide the body with junk food, we don’t give it time to regenerate, which occurs during quiet, uninterrupted sleep.

Instead of preventing various diseases and illnesses, we lead a busy lifestyle that is very conducive to them. When the body stops coping, we look for chemical agents, seeing them as our only chance to recover.

We forget that plants and herbs applied correctly can be a better solution for our problems or a strong support for chemical treatments.

However, the forms that nature offers us through herbal medicine require time to be effective, and this is what today’s eternally busy man lacks.
Therefore, in the blog we present perfectly effective, proven but also fast methods of using nature.

We select and recommend only natural products, or based on natural medicine.
I believe that thanks to them we can return to our roots, use the wisdom of our civilization and avoid disease.


CHECK OUT WHAT WE RECOMMEND!

Check what other solutions we recommend for anyone who wants to stay in full health (link).