You can Practice Yoga To change and heal your body
It’s incredibly liberating to think that we can change our health by our conscious movement. This is where the magic happens. Instead of talking about the esoteric principals of yoga I’s like to share a bit about the benefits to your health.
According to (what the science says) the (nih.gov) National institutes of health and the US department of health and human services, Yoga has shown to be helpful in the improvement of health outcomes for the following:
- Stress Management.
- Positive Mental Health
- Health Habits
- Quitting Smoking
- Weight Control
- Pain Conditions like Fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome,Low-back pain, neck pain, Headache, and Arthritis.
- Chronic Diseases like Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma.
- Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD
- improves Cardiovascular Risk Factors.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Menopause Symptoms, (Also Premenstrual symptoms and Pre/postnatal symptoms)
- Improve Sleep
The list of health benefits associate with yoga gets longer and longer every year, and I think it’s wonderful that more doctors are recommending yoga.
Now what wasn’t mentioned on the nih.gov site was the fascinating ability to control and change your own physiology in a positive way….
Thousands of research studies have been undertaken and have shown that with the practice of yogic meditation a person can, indeed, learn to control such physiologic parameters as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory function, metabolic rate, skin resistance, brain waves, body temperature, and many other bodily functions.That’s the definition of Yoga on the webMD.com site. Exciting right?? (“many other bodily functions” sounds ripe with possibility doesn’t it?)
You can also Practice Yoga To Clear And Calm Your Mind
In terms of its mental health benefits, the power of yoga stems greatly from its ability to calm the mind.
While this act might seem insignificant, studies have found that a calm mind can lead to a reduction in stress, lowering high blood pressure, increasing productivity and fighting off depression and disease.
Read on to learn more about the calming powers of yoga, how to introduce it into your workout routine, and the benefits of consistent practice.
Understanding stress and the mind
Many people struggle with restless minds. If you seem to be constantly filled with worrisome thoughts and fears about the future, be aware that these thoughts can become the source themselves of serious anxiety and uneasiness if left unchecked.
Other times the root cause of these thoughts and feelings lay in outside aspects of your life, such as fear or stress about work, relationship issues or having a family member facing an illness.
These thoughts trigger a chemical reaction I call a ‘stress response’ in the brain that release hormones that can enhance the negative feelings, leaving your mind whirring with negative thoughts and general anxiousness.
One of the best ways to clear out these harmful thoughts and reduce stress is through a calming practice such as yoga, which helps you to regulate the chemical processes and cope with the emotional side effects.
Calming benefits of Yoga
Yoga’s calming powers come from its physically enjoyable movements and its close ties with meditation.
First off, exercise in general has been shown to provide immense benefits to clarity of mind and overall mood due to the release of endorphins.
These hormones cause a sense of euphoria and general happiness, which help to combat negative thoughts by boosting your mood and allowing you to focus on more positive ideas.
Yoga can be incredibly enjoyable at any level, resulting in a strong and steady release of endorphins. Improves the immune system too. Yoga also helps to calm you because the moves initiate a form of meditation that can lead to a greater clarity of mind.
Meditation through yoga also helps you to gain a stronger overall focus, as these sacred postures require your presence and concentration to practice effectively.
Consistent yoga helps to train your mind to focus on the present situation, rather than worrying about the past or the future, and in turn leads to a calmness that extends beyond the workout.
Choosing the right style
Before beginning a new yoga routine, you don’t want to get in over your head. I’ve studied with ‘power yoga’ teachers, Iyengar teachers, and others, and even got hurt in one class.
After becoming a yoga instructor myself it became important to me to lead a class that’s accessible to everyone. After teaching for more than 15 years and adding in movements designed to prevent injuries to the spine, this has become my favorite yoga practice by far.
The yoga sequences I share in my classes are designed to gently increase overall flexibility, strength and balance. It’s completely accessible to beginners and seniors, yet enjoyable for experienced yogis.
I like to focus on back health specifically, because it’s one of the most common injuries and also a source of chronic pain for many. The poses I teach are like a ‘reset’ for the spine. This is of utmost importance for functional movement and enjoying life. You’re also taking care of the spinal cord, which houses a large part of your nervous system.
Another key component of my yoga classes is foot fitness. Foot fitness strengthens the muscles in the legs and feet, and improves range of motion in the ankles and toes as well. The foot sequence I share assists in neurological function and can improve posture, balance and full-body coordination.
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.– Leonardo da Vinci
One of the most important aspect is to put forth an honest effort. You’ll never regret taking time out for your wellbeing and self care. The benefits of yoga compound as you commit your mind to the experience.
Long term benefits
Staying consistent with a yoga routine can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the process, as you cannot only learn to perform the postures better but strengthen your ability to meditate and calm your mind.
While you can experience the positive benefits of yoga after simply a single session, repeated practice not only helps you to keep your mind calmer for longer but also enables you to achieve a greater degree of mental clarity and focus.
Let’s not overlook the benefit of being able to do your favorite things with your body with less pain and more agility. Better balance is key for more grace and confidence when you perform your everyday tasks, but also when you want to do more fun or strenuous activities with more ease.
Practice with me in the Cosmic Sanctuary.