What are the therapeutic benefits of yoga?
It is very common to hear someone comparing the practice of yoga with any other physical activity such as bodybuilding, stretching, etc. It turns out that, as much has already been said on the blog, psychoactive postures or asanas are just one of the eight pillars of classic yoga and doing them goes well beyond physical conditioning.
The positions of yoga contribute a lot to the strengthening and relaxation of muscles, tendons and bones, but the original idea of the postures is to prepare the body for meditation in a comfortable and seated position for long periods.
In addition, each asana has been designed with specific therapeutic functions that can contribute as much as any body therapy to the health of your body and mind. This is because these movements massage the organs and balance the functions of various internal glands.
Want to know some of these applications? So check out the list that yoga has done with some of the postures she considers most beneficial to our body.
1. Trikonasana – Triangle Bikram style
Posture involves strength and flexibility and challenges student concentration with detailed movements that can help or hinder shape in posture.
As we see in the photo of the to the side, the triangle promotes the opening of hips and works the muscles of the legs. By strengthening and aligning the legs and hips, an improvement in the stability of the body occurs. Therefore, the organs in the area of the hips – colon, kidneys, reproductive organs – and also the chakras associated with them are benefited.
The trunk twist combined with the intense opening of the arms promotes extension in the torso. This opens up space for the organs in the breast region to fully perform their functions. The combination of twisting and opening the hips also helps relieve back pain.
In addition, the great challenge of performing the posture helps to center, develop awareness and open the heart chakra (anahata), which helps you connect with what you love. Bikram Choudhury said, “When you improve your triangle, you improve your life 360º: mentally, physically, emotionally.”
- It works on all major muscle groups at the same time. Strengthens arms, quadriceps, glutes, abdominal muscles, neck muscles;
- Adjusts thighs, hips and waist;
- Align the flexors of the hips, spine and neck, and open the joints of the shoulders;
- Stimulates the respiratory system, nervous system, kidneys, thyroid and adrenal glands;
- Excellent cardiovascular work with minimal movement;
- It helps in the realignment and stability of the body by strengthening the legs;
- Good against bursitis and tendinitis;
- Helps regulate hormone levels;
- Strengthens the base chakra (pelvic floor) – muladara and with it the reproductive organs;
- It develops body awareness and concentration, relieves stress and anxiety.
2. Tuladandasana – Balanced Stick
In short, this posture tones the whole body, is very invigorating and requires a lot of concentration in the alignment. As you can see in the photo above.
Besides these benefits, we have:
- Strengthens the upper part of the thighs, glutes, shoulders, abdomen, trapezius, deltoids and ankles;
- Narrow your waist;
- Align the joints of the hips, shoulders and entire spine (relieving tensions);
- Stimulates the pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys and nervous system;
- Eliminates fat deposits in the body and burns many calories;
- Improves balance, physical stamina and lung capacity;
- It stimulates the heart and arteries, strengthening the (heart) muscle. Helps clear obstructions in the arteries, which prevents cardiovascular problems;
- Prevents varicose veins;
- One of the best exercises against bad posture;
- Activates and opens the chakra of the heart (anahata);
- Improves memory and concentration.
3. Utkatasana – Bikram style chair
There are many kinds of “chairs” among the yoga asanas. Utkatasana has a very high therapeutic power, but all have their benefits in being practiced. In the case of this Bikram style, we can enumerate:
- Tones and reduces the area of the hips, the lower abdomen, the thighs and the back of the thighs;
- Strengthens triceps and deltoids;
- Align and open the ankles, toes and feet;
- Stimulates the liver, spleen, intestine and pancreas;
- Realign the legs to prevent back pain and herniated disc;
- Realign the meniscus;
- Reduces foot boring, bunion and curved legs;
- Relieves sciatica;
- Reduces fat underneath gluteus;
- Good for arthritis in knees and hips;
- Relieves joint pain;
- Helps to release rage and guilt stored in the thighs;
- Helps relieve anger and frustration of calf muscles;
- Promotes intense concentration.
4. Supta Virasana – lying down hero
For some, this posture is super easy, for others, a torment. Either way, it brings the same benefits.
According to BKS Iyengar, whoever suffers from heel pains or spurs will gradually feel relief from the pains and eventually the spur will disappear if the posture is practiced regularly. For pregnant women , this posture is very beneficial as it reduces swelling of the legs. Besides that:
- Strengthens the arch of the foot;
- Align your thighs, knees and ankles;
- Improves digestion and relieves gas;
- Relieves the symptoms of menopause;
- Good for high blood pressure and asthma;
- It balances the hips joints by rolling them in;
- Restores natural spine curves and helps relieve back pain;
- Good for the kidneys and, for that reason, for the body’s energy quality.
5. Pashimotanasana – stretching in the soil
This posture may take a long time to be made in the way that Professor Anderson Allegro does in the picture, but like everything else in yoga, even without reaching the feet and placing the abdomen it is possible to receive all these therapeutic benefits:
- Strengthens the muscles of the shoulders;
- Opens hips;
- Creates more space between the last five vertebrae of the spine;
- Increases blood circulation to the liver, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines;
- Along spine, hips, shoulders and back of thighs;
- Stimulates liver, kidneys, bladder, ovaries and uterus;
- Relieves symptoms of menopause and menstruation;
- Prevents sciatica;
- Relieves headache and anxiety;
- Improves digestion;
- Reduces fatigue;
- Good for high blood pressure, infertility and insomnia;
- Calms the mind, and helps relieve stress and mild depression.