I am a physiotherapist by profession, a person from modern medicine, then why would I promote Yoga? The answer lies in the fact that, Yoga is for everyone. Yoga is most adaptable exercise form available. You can do asanas when in pain, when not in pain. You can performs asanas by modifying the range of motion and it can be done by all the age groups. It can be done by all the people with or without disability.
Before we move on let's understand the concept of Health and exercise.
What is the difference between Health and fitness?
"Fitness" is readiness. Readiness for physical activity. Fitness usually is used in terms of physical stamina. Physically fit people are better equipped than non fit people. "Health" has more components than physical health to it. Health means physical, mental and social well-being.
The concept and performance of Yogic practice not only improves physical fitness but improves Health in general.
What is the difference between Physical activity and Exercise?
Physical activities are activities that get your body moving. E.g., walking around house, going to cafe at office. Some people mistake these activities to Exercise, but exercise is actually a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, structured and repetitive. That means, if you walk around with specific speed, at specific time for specific distance in order to get health benefits then only you will get results, and that will be called "an exercise".
What is a well balanced exercise plan?
Just like balanced meal, exercise also needs to be balanced. The building blocks for perfectly balanced workout are strength, flexibility, balance and cardio-vascular stamina. Just like perfect meal, you need to add all these components of exercises to routine to achieve best results. Example, when you are working out in gym with weights (For strength training) and not working on Cardio vascular training your workout will be considered incomplete. Incomplete workout will not only give you incomplete results but also increased possibility of injury.
Yoga will help you with strength, flexibility and balance. (Some poses of Ashatanga Yoga will also help you to increase heart rate to training zone and improve cardio-vascular capacity.) So, this is like a complete package. Yoga, is like having complete balanced meal. As it not only focuses on physical health but also mental aspect and spiritual aspect of health.
Yoga improves flexibility. Tight muscles, connective tissue, fascia are made flexible with regular yogic practice.
Yoga improves strength. Strong muscles do more than good looks. They protect us from arthritis and back ache, also help prevent falls in elderly.
Yoga improves posture. Your head is like a ball- round and heavy. When it is well balanced over the spine, it takes less effort from neck muscles to support it. If it moves forward due to postural issues, you start straining the muscles to hold the position anti-gravity. Yoga can improve this condition, and helps to stabilize spinal structures.
Yoga prevents joint wear and tear and in turn eases pain. When the muscles are well built and flexible, they can take stress and that reduces pressure coming on joints.
Yoga protects your spine. Spinal discs are shock absorbers. A well balanced asana practice will help you keep the discs supple.
Yoga improves bone health. Weight bearing yogic postures strengthens bone and prevents osteoporosis.
Why re-design yogic postures?
Everyone has different range of motion and different strength. Body type and bodily needs of exercise vary even among same age group. So it is important that, you learn from a certified yoga trainer, who will understand the flexibility restrictions and customize exercises for your needs.
If you have any doubts about whether certain yoga postures are suitable for your physical condition, write us to firstname.lastname@example.org.