Yoga is more popular than ever in Western culture, thanks to the renewed sense of urgency around physical health. Thanks in part to our nation’s focus on physical appearance, science and spiritualism have found a middle ground in the practice of yoga. And while not fully understood by either side, there’s plenty of anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the benefits behind this daily regimen of bends, stretches, and poses.
For shorter individuals, yoga more recently has provided the hopeful development of increased height along with the peace of mind and better physical conditioning that comes with the practice. So is there any merit to this concept? Can an ancient series of stretches, poses, and meditations actually change someone’s physical appearance?
What Does Yoga Do For You And Your Body?
There are a ton of different effects that happen to individuals who regularly practice yoga, many of them positive. Practitioners have claimed improved flexibility and balance, better sleep, more energy upon waking and decreased pain for chronic sufferers like the elderly.
Yoga is very much an exercise, so it shouldn’t be shoved into categories like alternative medicine or holistic treatment. A lot of researchers who study the noticeable impacts from the practice have stated that while you don’t necessarily need to hang up your weights or running shoes in lieu of a yoga mat, yoga in itself strengthens muscles and increases physical endurance. It’s not unusual to see an individual working up a sweat while in the midst of their regular poses.
Does Yoga Require You To Be Spiritual or Religious?
Yoga began as a part of both Buddhism and Hinduism, with the basic concept being that physical, mental, and spiritual harmony were all the same, and are interdependent of one another. The idea here is that you can’t have one type of contentment without the others.
But while it’s true that the practice of yoga began as a spiritual exercise, it’s since been adapted and integrated into several different belief systems and practices over its almost 3000 years of existence. Nowadays just about anyone can find a variety of schools teaching different flavors of yoga, like Hatha yoga (which focuses on strength and holding poses) or Ashtanga yoga (which is centered more around the movements from one pose to another, and the fluidity of those movements).
A significant additional effect of yoga is that it also seems to contain the same benefits as meditation. Yoga enthusiasts and researchers alike have seen more than enough evidence of this, thanks to the lowered levels of stress and baseline positive mental health that typically accompanies the activity. Advocates also often claim that their thoughts come in more ordered patterns and that they have a deeper perceived connection to the world around them.
Yoga & Height
As far as an individual’s height is concerned, yoga works much in the same way that other physical activities and sports do, by providing relief to your spine and surrounding muscles. This often helps individuals keep their back’s alignment in check, which is almost always noticed in an individual’s perceived height.
Many of the poses in yoga are reportedly great for this purpose, including Vrikshasana (the “tree” pose) and Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), which both focus on the elongation of the spine.
What Does This Mean In Regards To Growth?
Well, yoga is about as promising as gymnastics or chiropractic adjustments where height is concerned. The human body depends primarily on genetics, diet, and general well-being when deciding your height. These processes change once you’ve entered adulthood, after which time your height is pretty much set for the remainder of your life.
If, however, you’re someone who has struggled with spine issues, there is plenty of data to suggest that a regular yoga practice will increase your quality of life, even if it doesn’t end up making you taller. Look, even if you’re not doing yoga, you should at least be doing some sort of physical activity such as swimming laps or playing basketball or something.