Should I join the gym or startup with the Yoga classes? This question pops in, literally, everyone’s mind these days. The fact is that if you want a long-lasting change on your body, you should probably start doing some yoga because hitting the gym regularly might be useful, but if you stop going to the gym for a week, your muscles will start losing most of what it had gained.
So, to keep up your motivation and get both mental and physical health in check, it’s better to start up yoga. Nonetheless, yoga can show fabulous changes in the human body, and as shown by many types of research, yoga is sure to benefit your body in many aspects.
The Effects of Yoga on Different Parts of The Body
Like, decreasing your fat accumulation, increasing your metabolism, correcting your eating disorder, making you positive, giving you a beautiful body and many more. To give you a brief idea of how yoga changes the body, let me divide the changes in systemic order.
1. Joints and Musculoskeletal System
The skeletal muscles in our body are arranged in criss-cross order, and when we flex the muscle for a long time (i.e., during the exercise), the muscles get contracted, and we end up getting severe cramps or pain, especially in the calf muscles.
During these phases, we not only lose a lot of energy in the form of ATP but also have some unpleasant experiences. In cases like this, doing yoga is the best option. Yoga effectively contracts and relaxes the muscle, which improves flexibility and functioning of muscle, additionally preventing any cramp.
Similarly, as yoga is done only by taking long breathe in and out, all the muscles in the body are sure to get enough oxygen to function, and there is less probability that your muscles will form lactic acid through anaerobic respiration.
Moreover, yoga helps to strengthen your muscles and repair the muscle strains, which may have got injured during any strenuous activity . And yoga even helps to decrease the pressure in joints, which in turn improves the movability of joints, additionally improving few cases of osteoarthritis.
2. Skin and Cutaneous System
One of the benefits of yoga is that it not only helps us to stay healthy but at times, yoga can also reverse the anti-aging process. Well, aging doesn’t only mean saggy eyes, and wrinkled face, mental aging, and aging of the musculoskeletal system are also significant –if we give it a closer look.
Moreover, you don’t have to do a particular type of “facial yoga” to get an angelic glow. Practicing yoga helps you to revive the youthful energy, which you slowly give you that radiant glow for sure.
Yoga helps to increase collagen production in your body, which will make your skin much elastic. Similarly, yoga also improves the blood circulation in your cutaneous level; therefore, oxygenating and removing all the harmful waste on time.
Also, practicing yoga by chanting mantra helps to rejuvenate you, makes you a powerful soul in terms of spirituality and generates micro-current in the body. You can quickly feel this current, which in some ways helps to keep your skin radiant.
3. Cardiovascular System
In the world of luxury and sophisticated lifestyle, it’s not astonishing to see that out of every three people we meet, one of them is undoubtedly having hypertension or diabetes.
With no exercise and with all the junk food that we consume, it’s no wonder that we are giving a lot of stress to our “ever-pumping” beautiful heart. So, can yoga improve your cardiovascular functioning?
In fact, it can! And it can improve the functioning in totally another level which you might not have imagined. Firstly, yoga helps to get rid of problems like arteriosclerosis (fatty deposition, which narrows your blood vessels) by increasing fat metabolism.
Secondly (and most importantly), the deep inspiration done in yoga helps to activate the vagus nerve, which in turn helps the parasympathetic activity to take over the sympathetic action. This process decreases the stress hormone, and helps the heart to pump on its own pace; additionally, decreasing the BP to a certain level.
Thirdly, while talking about the vascular system, yoga helps to keep the flow of blood to various parts of the body, which improves the body’s aerobic respiration for sure.
4. Respiratory System
The deep inhaling and exhaling process during yoga helps to contract and relax the lungs simultaneously. This process helps to improve the lung capacity, which allows the lung to function wonderfully.
Moreover, even for the patients with Bronchial asthma or chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD), yoga can be an excellent therapy as it helps to improve the breathing process, and as no strenuous breathing is involved, sudden attacks are absent while practicing this technique.
5. Gastro-Intestinal System
Don’t you think all the junk food, experimental drinks, and toxic- bacteria-rich stuff are giving a tough time to your gut? Honestly, I wonder how the stomach can handle all this stuff and still function so well! Nonetheless, you need not worry about the damage done because the specific type of yoga can revert the damage or at least improve your bowel movement.
Yoga, like Surya Namaskar, can increase your bowel movement to a fantastic level. Firstly, as yoga activates the para-sympathetic functioning over the sympathetic action, it helps the exocrine gland to secrete enzymes, which helps to lubricate the gut and helps in both digestion and easy passage of chime and chyle.
Secondly, the parasympathetic system activates the enteric nervous system, which directly increases the gut movement. Thirdly, as the blood flow of the gut is improved, different types of ulceration in the abdominal wall heal quickly, which reverts the aging process of the abdomen.
6. Renal System
Earlier, I had mentioned that yoga improves the blood flow in the body. The increased blood flow, in turn, increases the GFR( glomerular filtration rate), causing the nephrons of the kidney to filter more blood effectively.
Moreover, during the end stage of kidney damage, it is most likely that the kidney stops filtering well due to a decrease in GFR, which is a very deadly sign.
7. Endocrine System (Hormonal)
During stress, our body releases a hormone to prepare us for fright, flight, and fight. Adrenal glands, located above the kidney, release this hormone. It’s not that this hormone is harmful, actually, it is due to this hormone that we humans can cope up with daily anxiety or stress.
However, if it is present in access in our body, the blood sugar level rises, chances of diabetes increase, the supply of glucose to cells of the body decreases causing musculoskeletal problems and yes causes you to age quicker!
So, daily yoga for just 10-15 minutes decreases the cortisol level in the body. Yoga or any exercise can boost up the insulin-sensitive receptors of the body, which helps to keep the sugar level in check and in the same way, makes pancreases sensitive towards the glucose level in the body so it can secrete required amount of insulin.
8. Central Nervous System (Brain)
Who doesn’t wish for a well-coordinated brain activity with peak alertness and calmness at the same time? And who doesn’t want a fantastic IQ level?
Let me start up by saying your brain is already fabulous, as it is so powerful and so beautiful that it has made who you are right now. However, due to stress, unnecessary pressure, and daily emotional instability, the functioning of the brain can decrease to a deficient level . Trust me, your mind is far capable than it is right now and yoga can help to unleash that potential of the brain.
Firstly, during yoga and deep meditation, your brain emits alpha waves all along. This wave is also present during light sleep- when your brain is at rest and calm. After yoga and meditation, your mind is sure to become more focused and well orientated towards the task you are doing. Even the eye-hand coordination improves significantly.
Secondly, as yoga decreases the cortisol level in the body, the brain gets freed from pressure and overthinking, making you feel light and more creative with newer ideas.
Thirdly, the brain is complex and even anatomically, has many hidden areas; therefore, it can function well only when it inadequately oxygenated. So, as yoga improves the blood supply, even in the brain, positive effects are sure to be seen.
9. Spiritual (Chakras)
Chakras are the major energy centers in our body. They are highly responsible for many functions in our body. Likely, similar to any other organs and body parts any blockage to that are will affect various body mechanisms.
There are seven major chakras and even if one of the seven chakras has some blockage, you will be in the best of you. In fact, it will definitely lead to some physical or mental illness.
Yoga helps with better functioning of the chakras and the flow of its energy in the body. Therefore, if you want the energy to flow in a well-oriented pattern along with the chakra, you need to practice yoga on a regular basis.
When you are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, you are sure to turn into a happy individual. Both inside and outside your body, you will be radiating positivity, and you are sure to glow differently.
Maybe this sounds too basic, but it’s the truth, that yoga helps you to better yourself in all aspects. As I have already described the effect of yoga in different systems of the body, it is evident that yoga does bring a good chance in the human body.
Furthermore, yoga helps you to enjoy life at every single level, which surely no medication can make you do. So, in my opinion, even as a medical student, it’s better to switch to yoga and exercise than opting for bitter medication, which has thousands of side effects.
(Last Updated On: March 30, 2020)