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Yoga: The Many Health Benefits of Yoga

Updated on January 3, 2017
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Spinal Twist and Disabled Vet Arthur Boorman

The yoga spinal twist is talked about in this article as an example of the benefits of one pose or posture.
The yoga spinal twist is talked about in this article as an example of the benefits of one pose or posture.
Arthur Boorman left side: Before picture from video below of a disabled vet that lost 100 pounds in 6 months and 140 pounds in 10 months. His yoga teacher on the right.
Arthur Boorman left side: Before picture from video below of a disabled vet that lost 100 pounds in 6 months and 140 pounds in 10 months. His yoga teacher on the right. | Source
See the difference in his belly! He could not walk or stand before without crutches. He was disabled.
See the difference in his belly! He could not walk or stand before without crutches. He was disabled. | Source

Great Video About Healing Power of Yoga. Watch this NOW!

Hatha Yoga has Many Benefits

Hatha yoga refers to the yoga poses or postures that people usually refer to as yoga . In my other article about What is Yoga, it explains the different types of yoga like karma yoga (doing good deeds) and raja yoga (meditation). I have been doing yoga since age 12. This was written in January 2012.

I love helping people so karma yoga is good for me, but I also do meditation. The Indian word (Hindi or Sanskrit) for pose is asana. There are jokes about this word like "get off your asana."

Yoga is great for weight loss or losing weight. The disabled vet on the video, Arthur Boorman, lost 100 pounds in 6 months and 140 pounds in 10 months from doing yoga and he is no longer disabled! Watch video now!

I have been doing the yoga postures since age 12. They have a lot of mental, emotional and physical health benefits. There are other sports that involve stretching like martial arts and gymnastics (that I have also done) but yoga stretches are specifically designed for health. The poses stimulate the different glands that produce hormones.

See Harvard University Medical School tell how great yoga is. See Tap into the Amazing Healing Power of Yoga! It says that regular meditation is better than a vacation or a vacay. It says:

Tone and strengthen your body while you lower blood pressure … ease back pain … reduce the risk of heart disease … and improve your memory with YOGA!

In fact, research shows 90% of all doctor visits are linked to stress-related problems. Yoga can be a perfect remedy. It’s one form of exercise that helps relieve stress while improving strength, balance, flexibility, and overall health.

In fact, yoga does so much for your health that studies show people who do yoga use 43% fewer medical services, and they save anywhere from $640 to more than $25,000!

It’s one form of exercise that helps relieve stress while improving strength, balance, flexibility, and overall health.

So yoga is especially good for anti-aging. The stretches also stimulate different organs to keep them healthy. Like the spine twisting pose presses the right side of the colon first where the ascending colon is and then it compresses the left side of the colon where the descending colon is. This helps the colon to get rid of waste. But the pose does a lot more than just that.

The Spine Twisting Pose "increases circulation and nutrition to the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues and improves spinal elasticity and flexibility and flexibility of the hip joints. It helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the spine, improves digestion, removes flatulence from the intestines, and firms the abdomen, thighs and buttocks." This is from Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class.

The book Kripalu Yoga calls this pose the Spinal Twist. It says that it's benefits are:

3. Activates organs in lower abdomen due to the squeeze given by the thigh pressing into that area. 4. Aids elimination by pressure applied first to the right side and then to the left side, progressing in the direction of peristalsis [successive waves of involuntary contraction passing along the walls of a hollow muscular structure (as the esophagus or intestine) and forcing the contents onward].

5. Affects the descending colon and activates the liver and gall bladder (located on the right side of the body below the rib cage) and the right kidney through the pressure of the bent right leg. 6. Affects the descending colon and activates the stomach, spleen and the left kidney through the pressure of the bent left leg. 8. Hydrates the intervertebral spinal discs and the provides fresh oxygen to the entire skeletal muscular system along the spine. 10. Good antidote for those who either sit or stand for a long time.

This is only one pose and I did not list all the benefits from the second book. There are many more poses but this is to give you an idea of how many benefits that there are. There are also balancing poses. These poses help people to have more patience, self-confidence and concentration.

As far as emotional benefits, here is an article with pictures of the poses that you can try now, even without going to a yoga class. 6 Yoga Poses for Depression and Anxiety The headstand is for more advanced students or kids. But the Legs Up the Wall pose has similar benefits. They both are good for anti-aging since they reverse the effects of gravity. When sitting or standing, gravity is pulling blood from the head into the feet. These poses do the opposite and pull blood from out of the legs and feet and into the upper body and head.

You can practice the headstand with the wall behind you do if you start to fall, you can put your feet against the wall. I do not think that it is that hard to learn. The Indian word for pose is asana so this is called the king of the asanas or poses. The Kripalu Yoga book says this about it:

The headstand should not be done by anyone with a detached retina, organically defective pineal or pituitary gland, eye disease, or infected ears. In case of extremely high or low blood pressure, consult a physician first. Remember to remove rings and contact lenses.

2. Cleanses the brain by flushing the capillaries and blood vessels, relieving headaches, migraines, and nervous fatigue, and improving memory, concentration and intellectual capacity. 3. Helps normalize the functions of the pituitary and pineal glands, which control the endocrine system. 4. Improves eyesight and hearing. 7. Improves posture. [See video below with a disabled vet doing the headstand!]

Here is another article with pictures of the postures so you can try them. 7 Yoga Poses For Insomnia. Note that in the first 3 poses that the heart is above the head unlike when you are sitting or standing. This article says:

It's an oft-cited statistic: 60 million Americans suffer from some form of insomnia. In our battle to conquer sleeplessness, we've explored a variety of tools: from melatonin to bedtime routines.

However, yoga doesn't figure high on that list. In the West, yoga is seen primarily as a fitness routine. But the ancient discipline is as much about regulating one's lifestyle as it is about weight-loss. There exists a plethora of yoga poses that lend themselves specifically to relaxation and insomnia reduction.

So this is an introduction to the many health benefits of yoga. I have other articles on yoga like 23 Celebrities That do Yoga and what is yoga that explains the other types of yoga and the general purpose of yoga. The general purpose of yoga is to raise or expand consciousness. Make sure to see my article Is the Key to Happiness Being in the Present Moment.

Important Cautions

I suggest that you do not do the shoulder-stand or the plough poses. In these poses the weight of your body is on your neck. There was an article in a yoga magazine about many who have had permanent injury from doing it.

When a massage therapist said that she did Bikram's hot yoga everyday, I asked if they did these poses. She said "No, they are not done but there are 26 other poses that are done. Also note that Bikram's yoga is for physical, mental and emotional health and very therapeutic, but it is not spiritual. Bikram learned it as a young boy and then stopped doing it Then later he got injured and was crippled. Then he started doing it again to cure himself and he did do that.

Remember that when you are at a class, you are the boss when it comes to your own body. The instructor works for you. If the instructor tells you to run into a wall, it will be your nose that gets broke, not his/hers. So only do what you feel is safe for you and to the degree that you want. The book on yoga by an M.D. at the bottom has Dr Oz saying (on the cover) that he has his patients do yoga.

Former Pro Wrestler Inspires Incredible Weight Loss

Maybe professional wrestling isn't real, but the impact its athletes can have on people isn't limited by its legitimacy. Enter Diamond Dallas Page, a former WCW, WWF/WWE and TNA star, who has transformed himself in a fitness and wellness guru at age 56. Spurred on by "Power Yoga," Page went from battered and bruised to bouncing with life and flexibility and has continued to spread the word.

That word reached Arthur Boorman, who was a disabled veteran from the Gulf War that had been told he would never be able to walk under his own power ever again. Then he read an article about Page's success, and started doing Page's workout (DDP Yoga). The transformation documented below changed Boorman's life, and has already inspired over 1.5 million YouTube views.

Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur's Inspirational Transformation!

Therapuetic Effects of Yoga written by an MD (See where Dr Oz says that he has all of his patients do yoga)(on cover of book).

Arthur's Transformation (Extended Cut) - Never, Ever Give Up!! 9 minutes.

Arthur Boorman: Never Give Up Presentation!

Flexibility and Range of Motion | Beginner Yoga With Tara Stiles

Bikram's Hot Yoga (Beginning Class-- still a challenge). Most therapuetic yoga for body

Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (Second Edtion)
Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (Second Edtion)

Bikram Choudhury, author of the newly revised Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class and yoga guru to the stars, is on a mission to heal America through yoga. Bikram claims that faithfully doing his yoga routine, which consists of 26 hatha yoga asanas (postures) set down by Patanjali over 4,000 years ago, can fix everything from ►chronic diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis) to obesity and depression.◄ According to Bikram, his beginning yoga class exercises 100 percent of the body, increases energy, and leaves you looking and feeling fantastic.

The book contains nearly 200 photographs illustrating each of the poses. Each asana is also accompanied by detailed directions on how to do it the right way. Can't quite twist your leg around your head or touch your nose to your knee? Bikram will tell you how to modify poses so one day you, too, can resemble a pretzel.

►This is not an easy workout. Even intermediate students will find Bikram's yoga routine, which requires about an hour to complete, challenging.◄ Need encouragement? Beginning Yoga contains suggestions for maintaining proper yoga practice, a section on the medical benefits of yoga, notes from Bikram's students, and a good dose of Bikram humor and philosophy. If you can't get to one of Bikram's 100 yoga centers and want to give his style of "hot yoga" a try, open up Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class and let Bikram work his magic on your body, mind, and spirit. --Ellen Albertson



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    • profile image

      Yog Rishi Brajesh ( Avatar Yoga School ) 

      3 years ago

      I love your post..!!! Yoga help people to live a peaceful life through practice and meditation.

    • Asana yoga profile image

      Asana yoga 

      4 years ago

      I agree with Renee21

    • renee21 profile image

      Tori Leumas 

      4 years ago

      I love yoga! It makes me feel so relaxed, healthy, and energized! Great hub! Voted up.

    • mecheshier profile image


      7 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. Love your info and the pics. Especially the videos. Thanks for sharing. Voted up for useful and awesome.

    • profile image

      mrs kate marsh 

      7 years ago

      Thanks, an interesting article and many points discussed. a good starting point for many informed conversations about yoga and achieving asanas correctly and safely. As a Raja yogi I appreciate well thought out and written articles.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Az

      wonderful hub on one of my favourite subjects :) I am not good at yoga but love it at any rate


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