Yoga Asanas - How does it work and how do you benefit from your practice?
The practice of yoga postures or asanas, exercises and works systematically on every part of your body, toning your muscles and lubricating your joints, keeping your spine supple and working on your internal organs, hormonal glands and nerves. Asanas boost the metabolism, lymphatic and blood circulation and hormonal secretions.
The practice of asanas pays particular attention to the spine, as it is believed that when the spine is healthy, all systems and organs function better. For this reason yoga postures work on the spine by way of four spinal movements - forward, back, side bends and twists. Movements of the spine strengthen and release tension of the surrounding muscles. They release blocked energy and promote proper energy flow.
Asanas work on and stimulate your internal organs by way of muscular contractions that squeeze and flush fresh blood to them. Alternate stretching and contracting increases blood circulation.
Standing and sitting forward bending postures tend to be calming to the nervous system and they relieve strain to the heart. They work on the muscles of your back and neck to heels, and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Abdominal contractions when applied to forward bends gently compress abdominal organs, massage and invigorate them, hence promoting better digestion. Your kidneys and adrenal glands are stretched and stimulated.
Back bending postures are the most exhilarating and invigorating poses. They stretch and strengthen the muscles of the front of your body from neck to feet and strengthen the back muscles as they contract. They stretch the abdominal organs, stimulate the function of your kidneys and adrenals as well as your thyroid and thymus glands.
Standing and sitting side bends stretch and compress mainly the side of your body down to your hip. They build strength and stability to your spine and rib cage. They stimulate your kidneys, liver and intestines. They also work on your pelvis, groins, inner thighs building strength and flexibility in surrounding and involved muscles.
Twists build strength and flexibility in your spine and abdominal muscles. Twists compress, stretch and stimulate the function your kidneys, adrenals, liver, and digestive organs. They squeeze blood out of the internal organs of your abdomen and pelvis, improving circulation in these regions.
The Four Spinal Movements & Inversions
The four movements of the spine can be applied to standing, sitting, prone (lying on belly), supine (lying on back) poses as well as inversions (head down & legs up).
The upper body parts and organs are flushed with blood promoting increase circulation in these regions. Inversions are calming, they build concentration, stamina and upper body strength.