One of the most common questions Yoga teachers answer is about the healing aspects of regular practice. As we become more aware of our health, we would like to capture wellness and hold onto it for as long as possible. This is not only an indication of self-awareness, but also a sign of intelligence.
Unfortunately, some of us will abuse our bodies in one way or another, but Hatha Yoga gives us a path toward the best possible health. The asanas (yoga postures) create movements, which we can visibly see, but there is much more going on at the microscopic level.
As you move, you stimulate the circulation of lymphatic fluids throughout the body. These are clear fluids, which are derived from blood plasma. Lymphatic fluids move throughout the body to rejuvenate tissue cells and return waste matter (toxins) to the bloodstream for elimination from the body. The lymphatic system carries cells, which help fight disease.
Yoga movements and pranayama (yogic breathing) also stimulate the circulation of oxygen and blood. The result of all this movement is improved efficiency of the immune system, and less infection or disease. If you add a good diet, such as the Sattvic diet, which contains many natural and whole foods, you have taken another serious step toward improving the immune system.
Stress levels are lowered, as a Hatha Yoga practitioner stretches, when performing asanas, because tension is released within muscles, soft tissue, and joints. As tension is released, stress levels are lowered and the Yoga practitioner finds peace of mind.
This leads to the mental aspects of Yoga practice. Controlled Yogic breathing (pranayama) is the easiest connection between mind and body. In turn, pranayama cultivates positive energy within the mind and body. The result of a steady Yoga practice is a trained mind.
To be able to create a state of tranquility, at any time you choose, is complete empowerment and mental mastery over emotions. The establishment of emotional stability is a priceless asset of Yoga training. Not only is a trained mind good for your health, but it can bring you to a path of success.
How often have you seen a talented person lose his or her position because of one angry outburst? You could make the logical argument that social status is not everything, but why “shoot yourself in the foot?” Yoga practice does not equal sainthood, but it does allow one to attain mental clarity. If you can maintain a state of emotional bliss, you will likely have a happy and successful life.