By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Most individuals, who practice Yoga, are seeking some type of improvement – be it spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, or a combination of all four. That is the beauty of Yogic methodology: one simple practice balances all of the body’s systems in a synergistic manner. The individual is healthy, calm, and pain is released or reduced.
Hatha is commonly just referred to as “Yoga” outside of India, despite the fact that there are several different varieties worldwide. Hatha is a gentle type of physical Yoga, which focuses primarily on stretching and gentle movements into postures (asanas). Other movement-based Vinyasa varieties of Yoga can be fast paced and focus on breath control and flow.
Each movement-based style of Yoga has its benefits, and all are known to have a profound impact on the endocrine system, in particular. In order to understand how beneficial this is, it helps to have an understanding of just how vast the endocrine system truly is.
If asked which system in the human body is most important – many people would respond with the nervous system. No system is able to exist in a vacuum, and in that respect, all systems are of equal importance because they are equally valuable parts of the body as a whole. With that said, the endocrine system is a huge factor in overall health.
To put it simply, the endocrine system is, for the most part, a bunch of glands throughout the body. Initially, this seems a little underwhelming, until one realizes that those glands influence every other organ and system through the gland’s ability to release hormones. Many different chemical hormones are secreted by the endocrine system, and they are able to communicate their unique message to cells hours after their initial release. The endocrine system can easily be compromised by stress, fluid, and oxygen levels in the blood, and infection.
The nervous system is strongly influenced by the endocrine system, because when hormones are released into the bloodstream, the entire body is impacted. That’s where the healing power of Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga comes in.
Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga were developed over thousands of years by many enlightened masters, who crafted each asana with careful wisdom, that modern science is just now beginning to understand. The poses of physical styles actually massage and stroke the glands that make up the endocrine system, which cleanses and purifies the body. When practiced properly, Yoga training is a powerful preventative medicine that keeps the endocrine system balanced and healthy, which, in turn, impacts the nervous system indirectly, but in a powerful way.
In addition to experiencing more radiant health and vitality, practitioners also report heightened emotional well being, due to the regulating effects of Yogic methods on the baseline hormonal levels within the human body.
Therapeutic Hatha and Restorative Yoga are gentle and slow – very suitable for most individuals of all ages. It makes a wonderful addition to anyone’s daily routine, especially when practiced under the careful supervision of a competent Yoga teacher.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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