Yoga: Consider Adopting This Gentle Healing Exercise
Yoga is an excellent exercise for individuals who are out of shape, or struggling with life challenges such as recovering from an addiction. What makes it an excellent exercise choice?
Yoga meets you where you are at. When you do a yoga pose to the best of your ability, whatever that may be, it benefits you.
If you cannot fold in half and wrap your fingers around your toes it is unimportant. Some people who practice yoga never become flexible enough to do that. With yoga, you slowly and gently nudge the boundary of your strength and flexibility without holding any expectations.
Ten Reasons To Try Yoga
- Yoga teaches us to BREATHE DEEPLY, to slowly fill our lungs from the bottom to the top and then release the breath fully. Our lung capacity increases, the cells in our body get a richer supply of nourishing oxygen, and our body’s relaxation response is triggered.
- The practice of yoga RELIEVES STRESS. It relaxes the body and reduces the stress hormones in our system. Blood pressure and heart rate are lowered, we digest our food better, and our immune system is strengthened. We may experience relief from symptoms of whatever ails us such as asthma, depression, fatigue, or anxiety.
- Yoga boosts brain activity in the frontal lobes where our ability to discriminate, and OVERRIDE IMPULSIVITY, resides.
- Practicing yoga poses, or asanas, keeps the body FLEXIBLE. We always feel better when our joints and muscles are as free to move as possible.
- Yoga postures provide PAIN RELIEF for individuals with a variety of conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, or chronic back and neck pain. The combination of yoga and meditation is especially good for pain reduction.
- Yoga can help with MANAGING WEIGHT because it burns calories, lowers stress, and reduces cortisol levels. Plus, the body awareness and increased self-esteem generated by yoga practice encourages people to adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
- People who practice yoga improve their BODY ALIGNMENT. They have better posture, a more natural gate, and are less restricted by neck, back, muscle, and joint problems.
- Though yoga is not thought of as an aerobic exercise, it does provide gentle CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING by lowering the heart’s resting rate and increasing the uptake and circulation of oxygen while exercising.
- Yoga postures engage and STRENGTHEN every muscle in our body. Many poses involve bearing our own weight, and this strengthens our bones as well.
- Yoga practice teaches us to focus on the present moment, to BE MINDFUL of our breath, body position, and any sensations we might experience. This focus can carry over into our other activities. We may notice improved concentration, memory, and clarity of thought.
Use common sense. If you are very out of shape, have physical limitations, or an illness, consult with your physician before starting any exercise regimen.