Importance of Yoga

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Importance of Yoga

An ancient discipline, Yoga is a concept that comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘union’. It combines bodily processes with breathing techniques, meditation, and mental exercises in order to bring a sense of calm and composure in life. Though it originated in the Indian subcontinent, Yoga now has spread its wings across continents. So much so, that different academic programs like Diploma in Yoga, Naturopathy courses, etc are now being offered by academic institutions in order to impart a comprehensive understanding of the domain.  The importance of Yoga is far-ranging and it helps every age group and people. However, its importance can be felt most realistically in a student’s life. This blog aims to explore the various advantages of practicing Yoga for a student!

International Yoga Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a ‘Yoga Day’ during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014. India’s draught resolution was then approved by a record 177 member nations. On June 21, 2015, the globe celebrated the first International Day of Yoga. During his UNGA speech, Prime Minister Modi stated, “Yoga is a priceless contribution of India’s old tradition.” It represents mind-body oneness, thought-action harmony, restraint and fulfilment, harmony between man and nature, and a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercising, but rather about discovering a sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature.

Themes of International Yoga Day

Year Theme 
2015 Yoga for Harmony and Peace
2016 Yoga for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
2017 Yoga for Health
2018 Yoga for Peace
2019 Yoga for Heart
2020 Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home
2021 Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family

History of Yoga

Yoga was first developed in the Indus-Saraswati civilization and was included in the oldest Veda, the Rig Veda. Following this, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra was the first methodical treatise on Yoga that organized it and its principles. Modern times saw its advent in Western civilization with the starting of colonization. As the word spread, Yoga started receiving greater attention throughout the globe and several prominent personalities arose in this field who promoted Yoga for its inherent potential. Some asanas like Vrikshasana, Apanasana, Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Tadasana, etc have now come to form a part of our lives. The importance of Yoga thus lies in using the Asanas with breathing techniques. 

Importance of Yoga

Hatha Yoga and its numerous branches (Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga) might help you attain perfect unity, depending on what you prefer and the problems you want to solve via the practice. Some of the vital importance of yoga in our life are mentioned below:

  • Enhances brain function
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Changes gene expression
  • Increases flexibility
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves lung capacity
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Helps in achieving tranquillity and calmness
  • Builds self-control
  • Alleviates anxiety
  • Allows self-acceptance
  • Improves sleep cycle
  • Alleviates chronic back pain
  • In diabetics, it lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Enhances sense of equilibrium
  • Bone strength
  • Helps in weight management
  • Reduces the chance of heart disease

Reduces Stress and Relieves Anxiety

Yoga has the ability to reduce stress by diminishing mental discomfort. It promotes relaxation by controlling the secretion of the stress hormone called Cortisol. Scientific research undertaken to relate Yoga and stress found that Yoga decreases the production of cortisol resulting in diminished stress. Furthermore, it also helps in relieving anxiety in students which eventually leads to better academic performance. Hence, when it comes to the importance of Yoga in a student’s life, it helps them perform to the best of their potential while maintaining a balanced state of being and peace of mind!

Enhanced Flexibility and Posture

Developing a poor posture in the formative stage of life due to long school hours and college classes can result in physical complications at a later stage. These complications can be anatomical and will finally result in dependence on medical health for assistance. Performing Yoga from an early age results in the development of the right body posture and enhances the flexibility of an individual, thus making their body better suited to withstand strenuous work hours, especially, when you need to work from home. The equilibrium of the body is maintained by improving the vitality of a person and this eventually results in a positive mindset. Yoga thereby not only helps in the development of a correct anatomical posture but also of a healthy and rational mentality.

Importance-of-Yoga

Better Memory and Attention Span

Students often look for solutions on how to concentrate on studies, this is where Yoga comes into the picture. Practicing Yoga results in reducing hyperactivity and inattentiveness in students, improving their attention span. A greater attention span helps in retaining the information for a longer period. The direct effects of Yoga on the memory can be seen with better academic grades and longer concentration span. Thus, the importance of Yoga goes beyond reducing stress and anxiety! 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be physically, mentally, and spiritually present in a particular moment. By doing Yoga regularly, people learn to direct their attention in the present by controlling their wandering mind and focussing on the immediate surroundings. It reduces stress, makes thinking process more clear, and enhances the ability to make the right decisions. Students who are trying to master the concept of mindfulness can use Yoga to creatively visualize solutions in the present and implement them in their lives. In this way, the importance of Yoga is not restricted to the physicality of a student but embraces the mental processes too.

Correct Breathing Techniques

Yoga plays an insurmountable role in bettering the breathing techniques of an individual. Pranayama, which is a breath controlling technique, forms a vital part of Yoga. Breathing correctly not only helps increase concentration but also enhances the quality of living by reducing blood pressure, increasing mindfulness, and improving the sleep cycle. This technique also forms an essential component of the Bachelor in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS course). Hence, the importance of Yoga lies in curing physical ailments too. 

Yoga Pose

Enhances Self Control

Yoga, as a discipline, teaches a key concept of leading a better life and that is self-control. The importance of Yoga can be found in its ability to better the mental functioning of an individual. Students who practice Yoga have better control over their emotions and impulses and therefore are pragmatic and take meaningful decisions in life. Having self-control can lead to a rational lifestyle while ensuring a complete awareness of the decisions taken. 

Increases Self Esteem and Confidence

Yoga can work wonders in building the self-esteem and confidence of a student. It helps in being in complete control of the bodily processes and increases endurance, determination, and positivity. This helps the students in accepting and tackling arduous situations that life throws at them. Thus, apart from physical and mental ailments, the importance of Yoga in our life is also visible in personality development!

Helps in the Stimulation of Organs

When you do yoga, your inside organs are massaged, which increases your resistance to illness. Also, after years of practice, you will be able to discern if your body is not functioning properly if you have been attuned to it.

Credits: TED-Ed

Must Read: How to Become a Sports Scientist?

Thus, when it comes to the importance of Yoga in our life, the benefits are limitless and all-encompassing! Less known yet highly beneficial, there are scores of vocational and degree courses like that in Psychology, Physical Education, Yoga, etc that focus on the physical and mental well being of an individual. If you want to know more about the admission process and eligibility for such programs, then consult the team of experts at Leverage Edu who will provide guidance right from choosing a university to completing the admission formalities!

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