The purpose of yoga is to raise strength, awareness, peace, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual.  But doing yoga doesn’t mean that you will have to interlock yourself like a pretzel every day.  Through compassionate self-awareness, it is possible to have a yoga practice that goes beyond just the physical aspect.  Regular yoga practice provides benefits well beyond flexibility and relaxation. There are three basic elements in yoga:

Asanas (poses or posture),

Pranayama (breath work) and

Dhyana (Meditation or focusing the mind).

It is imperative to combine all three elements in our daily practice in order to see the full benefits of yoga.  These three elements are intertwined and cannot be separated. Asana alone can prepare only the body and not the mind. Meditation by itself can develop only the mind and not the body.

Recent research shows that yoga may also improve strength, aerobic capacity, and lung function Other studies show that it can also decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.  As a result, practicing yoga can calm the nervous system, beat insomnia and improve your overall health.

Yoga creates harmony in your body, mind and the world around you; and when your body, mind and spirit are in sync; your life will propel into much more meaningful turns.  But the question we often get is: “Is yoga enough for a healthy lifestyle?”  Regular yoga practice at a certain level of intensity will provide you with what you need. “However, yoga sessions that focus more on mindfulness and restoration may not get your heart rate up that much to count as required daily activity,” says Dr. Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and the co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

Studies show that besides exercise, the following four factors make the biggest difference in overall health and wellbeing:

1) diet 

2) sleep 

3) Environment

4) Psychology

I will cover all these factors in the upcoming blog posts;  So Stay Tuned!