Why yoga works

27 September 2023
27 September 2023

Why yoga works

Yoga is hot, yoga is totally in! Why are we so massively into yoga? My yoga journey started 10 years ago. Skin rashes, due to too much testosterone. Sugar, lactose, gluten intolerances, and abdominal pain due to a spastic colon. And in addition, pain in my elbow and wrist labelled RSI. All complaints, as it turned out later, related to stress, and in my case you could say chronic stress.

My first yoga course at the local meeting centre felt like coming home. The peace and relaxation felt like a treat for my body. And gradually my physical complaints eased, I got more in touch with my body, and I became more aware of what my body needed: relaxation, exercise, healthy eating.

Chronic stress is a real disease of affluence. Life is fast, we are constantly on: phone, social media, lots of stimuli, lots on the go, fast and unhealthy food, lots of coffee, loud music, and if all that is not fast enough red bull, alcohol and the occasional shot.

Our lifestyle has changed a lot in the last 150 years. However, we are still in a body that has its basic structure from 200,000 years ago. We are not only living longer, but also very differently from our ancestors. This change in lifestyle also reflects in the pattern of diseases we suffer from today. Stress, poor diet full of toxins and little exercise combine to form the ideal cocktail of many chronic diseases. [1]

And what can you do about this?
It all starts with making conscious choices. What do you want to do with your life? What is your goal? Your health is at the basis of a meaningful life. So if you want to get the most out of your life, then exercise, good nutrition, and managing stress effectively are the first step.

And how does yoga contribute to this?
That exercise and meditation are healthy is clear from all kinds of scientific research. [1]
Yoga combines the power of both. Like meditation, it improves brain blood flow. After a 12-week period of yoga practice, there is a measurable change in blood flow in the brain. In the amygdala, blood flow decreases, which is nice because this is the area where fear and pain are localised. On the contrary, in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in emotional processes such as decision making and social behaviour, blood flow increases. [2] In addition, yoga has a clear effect on lowering chronic inflammatory processes [3] and our stress hormones. [4] In a study with patients with severe depression, therapeutic effect of yoga was even better than treatment with antidepressants alone! [5]

I am convinced that experience is the best step to initiate change. So just get started, check out the ODS vitality offer with wonderful deals on yoga, meditation and breath work. And just start doing and experiencing!!!

Heartfelt greetings,

[1] Het emotionele DNA. Gevoelens bestaan niet, zij ontstaan. Prof. Dr. Pierre Capel, 2022
[2] Cerebral blood flow effects of Yoga training. Cohen D. et al 2009, J Alt. Compl. Medicine
[3] Stress inflammation and Yoga practice. Kiecols-glaser J. et all 2010, Psycosomatic Medicine
[4] How does Yoga reduce stress. Riley K. en Park C. 2015, Health Psychology Review
[5] Serum cortisol and BDNF in patients with major depression. effect of yoga. Naveen G. et al 2016, Int. Review od Psychiatry