The benefits of a regular yoga asana practice include boosting self-healing, such as balancing of emotions.
Balancing the emotions. According to yoga, the chief cause of disease lies in difficult or negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, desire, hatred and jealousy. This disturbs the body’s natural balance and can lead to unhealthy choices such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods or smoking, to mention just a few. Such unhealthy lifestyle choices play a role in diseases common in modern society, e.g. high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disorders, gastro-intestinal problems etc.
Practicing positive thinking and meditation make it less likely that negative emotions occur which lead to negative lifestyle choices. Giving attention to the body by practicing the asanas and pranayama, as well as relaxation, makes it easier to mediate and think positively. Therefore all these elements come together in yoga – exercising by practicing the asanas, proper breathing with pranayama techniques, relaxing properly and incorporating a healthy diet.
The unity is implicit in the word ‘yoga’ which is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘union’. Yoga helps the body find its natural balance and teaches the mind to be a responsible and intelligent controller of the body.
“Meditation is the most powerful mental and nerve tonic. The holy vibrations penetrate all the cells of the body and cure the various diseases that human flesh is heir to. Those who regularly meditate save the doctors’ bills. The powerful soothing waves that arise during meditation exercise a benign influence on the mind, nerves, organs and cells of the body. The divine energy freely flows like the flow of oil from one vessel to another, from the Feet of the Lord to the different systems of the practitioner.” – Master Sivananda – from Practical Lessons in Yoga by Swami Sivananda. A Divine Life Society Publication. 1997
“We increase our wavelength in different ways. Our physical wavelength will change through the practice of asanas,or postures. The asanas that you practise are not just physical exercises to develop your muscles. They bring your physical and astral systems into harmony. Both systems become full of energy without resistance from each other.”