Throughout my life, I never practiced yoga. I couldn’t understand all the excitement around yoga. I’m not a person who will wear fancy outfits, and all of the fashionable poses, that were pictured on social media, seemed impossible to me.
Then I had foot surgery on both feet. I couldn’t fold my toes. Another reason not to even start trying to learn yoga (how will I do one of the basic poses downward facing dog?). A few years went by and a huge trauma happened in my life. The happy, optimistic, funny person I used to be, slowly left me… and I start having health problems.
One day a close friend of mine suggested I try yoga. Me? Yoga? I wasn’t sure about it but in the end, decided to give it a try.
I don’t really know what happened there and how long it took, but it was a long process, and one day I realized I can fold my toes. How is it possible? A lot of meditation, focusing on breathing while practicing the poses, led me to enjoy the practices, and filled me again with happiness. There was a vacuum inside me, an emptiness that I needed to fill mentally, not just physically, and yoga opened a door to a new wonderful insightful philosophy.
Does yoga really cure me mentally and physically? Is it possible?
I started looking for answers and found out that yoga is a powerful therapy for healing the physical body as well as healing mentally.
Medical research estimates that as much as 90 percent of illnesses and diseases are stress-related. Chronic stress can lead to continuously high levels of the stress hormone cortisol which suppresses the immune system and causes diseases such as anxiety, depression, some types of diabetes mellitus, some autoimmune diseases, and many more.
In yoga, we use breathing techniques to calm our minds. Deepening the breath also activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system lowers blood pressure and heart rate and improves the immune system.
Yoga practices inherent healing abilities and boosts the healing process in many aspects –
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces chronic inflammation
- Reduces aches and pains
- Strengthens the lungs
- Cultivates inner awareness
- Improves eating and digestion
- Promotes a healthy body weight
- Yoga improves posture
- Encourages emotional release
- Reduces negative thought patterns
- Improves mood
- Supports a healthy lifestyle
Still, you will never see me wearing a fancy yoga outfit, and I still cannot do many of the harder poses, but I am working on it. The beauty of yoga is the enjoyment of the process. You can always improve and become better in doing the exercises, and also work on becoming a better person.