How Yoga Works: Yoga’s Mechanism of Action



Yoga is a system of various movements that ensure the constant harmony of body, mind, and breath. After discovering the yoga style that is right for you, you may realize that you have specialized in yoga movements over time. The word yoga derives from the root of Yuj in Sanskrit, which means attention, gathering, uniting, and unity. The yoga system aims to calm the confusion of the person by feeding them, taking the right breath, and keeping them in the right posture. So how exactly does yoga work?

Yoga practice, by providing mind-body and breath integrity, improves our awareness, and allows us to get closer to ourselves. As we get closer to our own limits, our endurance, energy, and tolerance limits expand. Yoga renews our mind, relaxes our body, and allows us to avoid negative thoughts by getting the mind out of the chaos in everyday city life. Stimulates the sense of focus and strengthens concentration and memory. Yoga works on the muscles around the spine to increase the flexibility and strength of the spine. Regular yoga practice provides strengthening of weakened and non-working muscles in daily life and helps to eliminate posture disorders. Exercising the muscles in the poses, with the stimulation of the internal organs, reduces the chronic pain experienced due to postural disorders or diseases.



Breathing exercises in yoga help us to improve the respiratory system while providing quality breathing. Yoga practice causes the awareness of the person to increase, becoming one with the universe, moving away from individuality, and realizing that it is a part of the whole. Yoga is not only about the physical practice, but also awareness of mind, breath, and self. The increase in attention, sensitivity, and awareness makes it easy to be individuals that are compatible with the universe. It provides the individual to be filled with life energy.

Poses in yoga practice cause sweating and removal of toxins accordingly. With continuous practice, the muscles are strengthened, the elasticity of the body increases, the spine is regained health. If there are anomalies on the spine, positive improvements occur. Yoga exercises return to us as a brighter skin, better working internal organs, a clear mind, a body that has found peace. Yoga, which is very beneficial for both the muscle and nervous system, also supports joint health. It is possible with a regular yoga practice to become people who are full of life energy and who can control their body and mind. Yoga helps us to connect with our center, to help us take time and improve our quality of life.

The Benefits of Yoga: How It Works?


Yoga is an activity that gives the body calmness and refreshes the soul. Yoga offers many benefits both physically and psychologically. It physically acts to the internal organs. Yoga, which psychologically brings the soul of man to nirvana, is an extremely popular activity today. The benefits of yoga do not end with counting, now let me explain these benefits for you.

The first of the benefits of yoga is breath control. Surely we are all breathing. But how many of us know and apply the right breathing techniques? With pranayama, which is practiced in yoga, breathing techniques, you can realize how useful this activity is. The correct breathing techniques applied in yoga provide breath control. It also contributes to lung health. At the same time, breathing techniques also have a function like resting the heart. One of the benefits of yoga is in the digestive system. With yoga, the digestive system becomes regular. Intestinal nutrients become easier to pass. The intestine performs its function more actively and comfortably. Yoga, which regulates the digestive system, is also ideal for losing weight.



Especially Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga practices improve your sense of balance, your body gets stronger when you practice some poses regularly. In this way, you feel physically stronger and confident, as well as psychologically stronger. You can get a healthier skeletal system with yoga practices based on flexibility and stillness, such as Yin Yoga, and you can significantly reduce these pains, especially if you are suffering from chronic pain. Thanks to your strengthened spine, you can have a more upright posture.

Yoga is not just about proper breathing techniques. While yoga is a kind of meditation, it also contains various exercises. While these movements contribute to the strengthening of the muscles, they also provide flexibility to the connective and muscle tissue. It is also effective in solving many problems such as posture disorder, back, and low back pain. Yoga also benefits the immune system. High cortisol levels are dangerous for the immune system. With yoga, the level of cortisol also remains constant. Thus, it strengthens the immune system. One of the benefits of yoga is that it keeps the brain cells vigorous and helps the mind relax. Moreover, the benefits of yoga are not limited to this. Yoga is also known to speed up blood circulation. With the acceleration of yoga’s blood circulation, we have a more dynamic body. It is also known that yoga increases fertility.



The psychological benefits of yoga do not end with counting. One of the biggest enemies of nerve and stress is yoga. Thanks to yoga, people get peace of mind. At the same time, yoga relaxes. The rest here is in a psychological sense. It keeps people away from their troubles and grief for a while. It is also known that people who practice yoga develop intuition. There are even people who practice yoga, just to strengthen their intuition. One of the main contributions of yoga is the sense of awareness it brings. Being aware of your breath while doing yoga postures, feeling the muscles that you use and release while in poses, observing the changes in your body while switching poses or loosening in another pose, creates a brand new bond with your body. Thanks to your rising physical awareness, you start to pay more attention to the foods you consume naturally. Yoga will make everything easier and more enjoyable on this journey, especially if you are on a diet and strengthened your goal of losing weight with another exercise.

According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience magazine in 2015, yoga is also very beneficial for the brain. As we age, gray cells in our brain decrease and we are more likely to experience various neurological and psychiatric problems. In the research, positive changes were observed in the brain activities of people who practice yoga and meditation. In addition to all this, meditation is a practice that encourages being in the moment and accepting what it is. With this awareness, it becomes much easier to maintain your inner balance and to get away from problems such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.



When you practice yoga regularly for a while, your body gets stronger, you get a more flexible structure, and when you start yoga, you are encouraged to see that you can do some poses that you think are impossible. Seeing how you can stretch your physical limits allows you to explore areas where you are emotionally weak and approach psychological problems that you cannot overcome with another perspective. On the other hand, in a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, it turned out that yoga not only helps weight loss but also regulates blood pressure and can significantly reduce bad cholesterol. Thanks to these benefits, yoga helps you protect your heart health.

How Yoga Works Rewardingly: The Permanent Gainings of Yoga


Yoga is a way in which you have to take action both physically and spiritually on your own journey of transformation, and for this, the results are permanent and realistic. It starts with asanas so that you can learn to relax your body. Because if your body is relaxed, your mind will also relax. Regardless of the stage of your life, any trauma you experience causes a blockage in your body and a solidification in the region where it creates that block, thereby energetic blockages. These blockages are behind all of our back’s pain, our waist is like a pile if it is permissible, our soles are not fully and flat on the ground, shoulder pain and headaches, and many other physical problems.



And if these problems are not fully turned into a symptom yet, if they are resolved by stretching, loosening by you, it will likely heal without turning into a disease. Nobody can do asanas for you, they can only teach you. It is you who will do it and if you want a permanent and realistic result, you will have to get tired and take time. In short, there is no waiting for you to lie down on the path of Yoga and do something for you with the magic wand and create miracles. Of course, the results will be permanent as the effort has to come from you.

Yoga will be a healer for you if you feel that you become annoyed, become more and more distant from tolerance, and feel like you are tired of your thoughts gnawing at you. When I say, “I can’t get angry at anything even if I want it for a long time,” people are laughing at me. But it really is. Although I want to get angry, I can’t get angry at anything and nobody. My limits of tolerance widened, and I learned how to be a calmer, happier person, regardless of being in the center, thanks to Yoga … Of course, it is possible to do this with action and effort. You need to work to be aware of the breaths you take and give during asanas, to use the nose for breathing, and to operate the diaphragm. Your instructor cannot breathe for you, it can only teach you how to do it. You are in charge, you are in control. When you do all this, the results will be permanent since it is inevitable that you will have a calm mind and you have achieved it with your own effort.



If you take responsibility, show your personal effort, discover your potential, and enjoy your time and effort, Yoga will be a good therapist for you. For example, this therapist is a specialist in your yoga class that your prejudices disappear over the time you spent on the mat. First, it teaches you to stop caring for others and return to yourself. Thus, instead of prejudices about others, you begin to turn to the ideas that are not true about yourself.

For example, when you think that you can not stand in balance, you will suddenly realize how good you are in income balance postures, or when your arms are weak, you will realize that you have the arms that carry you in the positions that require the most power. Or while you are feeling like this, one day you may experience that your balance is broken again and your arms cannot even lift your mat. But over time, you become someone who knows that things can change, to notice what is happening, and how you can balance again, to gather your strength without fighting the one. Thus, while your prejudices about yourself start to disappear; you become more and more beautiful.

A Scientific Research: How Yoga Works


We all know that yoga is good for the body and mind. Until recently, it was not possible to tell how and why it is good for diseases such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, chronic pain, and even epilepsy. A group of researchers at Boston University School of Medicine believe they have discovered the secret of yoga. In an article published in Medical Hypotheses in 2012, Chris Streeter and his team suggested that yoga works by regulating the nervous system. It does this by increasing the vagal tone, which is the body’s ability to respond to stress.

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve that starts from the root of the skull and travels the entire body and affects the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. The vagus nerve, which is generally considered as an air traffic controller, helps regulate the important functions of the body. Our breath, pulse, and digestion – including sensing, processing, and concluding our experiences – are directly related to the vagus nerve. When the vagus nerve works properly, our digestion improves, our heart works at the optimal level, and our emotional state stabilizes. It is easier to get comfortable from our mobile and stressful state. As we master this work, we manage the challenges of life better and take care of our energy more. While in this flexible state, our vagal tone is high.



On the other hand, low vagal tone brings the feeling of exhaustion. Digestion slows down, pulse increases, our emotional state becomes variable and difficult to predict. As expected, low vagal tonus is associated with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and epilepsy. It is not a coincidence that these show significant improvements with yoga. Researchers think that stimulating the vagal nerve with yoga causes healing in these diseases.

To test this theory, the researchers examined the applications they thought were increasing the vagal tone. For example, they found that ujjayi pranayama increased the relaxation response and likewise increased pulse variability. Another study on more experienced yogis showed that speaking the Om mantra augmented the vagal tone and relaxation response more than quietly by saying it to himself. These kinds of studies begin to reveal how different yoga practices have different effects on human physiology.

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Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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