1. 7 Most Notable Benefits of Yoga

    August 15, 2013

      benefits of yoga

    Do you frequent the gym and you are looking to expand your fitness horizons?  Are you an exercise newcomer struggling to find a place to start? Are you a yoga skeptic and have never taken the plunge to actually try a class? The truth is, yoga has many benefits and has the potential to bring a whole new level of health and wellness to your life.  Read on to discover seven significant benefits yoga can bring to you and has already brought to countless others. Let’s move past the stereotypes that say yoga is for hippies, people without any sense of athleticism and individuals with the ultimate skills in flexibility.  The fact of the matter is, and has been proven, that yoga is for everyone.

     

    • Optimism Yoga has a natural ability to increase levels of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter present in the brain which lowers anxiety and gives people a sense of calm and general well being. If you are naturally a more stressed and anxious person, yoga has the potential to truly change the quality of your life by helping you to relax and go about your days more calmly. In a sense, yoga can be a natural form of antidepressant.  Just as depression medications increase GABA levels, so does yoga.

     

    • Pain Relief When you are in pain, the last thing you are likely thinking about is exercising.  But wait! Incorporating yoga into your life as a part of your daily regimen can actually lower chronic pain.  How? There are “markers” in your body called Cytokines which indicate you are holding inflammation in that area.   After practicing yoga regularly, these cytokines decrease and you are left with less pain. Yoga has also been shown to lessen arthritis and fibromyalgia pain.

     

    • Quality of Sleep Regular yoga practice is known to cure several conditions, some of which include insomnia or abnormal sleeping habits. Yoga helps people to unwind and de-stress at the end of the day. When you feel more relaxed and have a clear mind, getting a quality night’s sleep is much easier.

     

    • Calmness Yoga is often times considered an alternative medicine practice offering a refreshing mind-body healing approach.  Yoga combines physical and mental disciplines to help yogis achieve peacefulness of both body and mind.  Post yoga, you are left feeling relaxed and better able to manage stress and anxiety.

     

    • Posture Poor posture can be attributed to the presence of many undesirable health conditions such as varicose veins, pinched nerves, heart strain and belly fat.  Many problems related to posture are caused by long hours spent each day at one’s workplace, hunched over a computer.  The good news is, many yoga poses help to counteract your tendency to slouch, increase your body awareness and, in turn, improve your posture.  There was once a (false) belief that yoga actually makes people taller.  While this is not exactly true, yoga can noticeably improve your posture, making you appear taller and thinner. Talk about a nice, simple confidence boost!

     

    • Strength Can yoga build muscle? During a yoga class, you are required to hold your body in positions in which you must support yourself for considerable lengths of time. You build muscle tone by holding and supporting your own body weight, much like you do during conventional strength training exercise. Practicing yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, strength and range of motion. With this, you’re at a much lower risk for injuring yourself in other physical activities or in your daily life.

     

    Depending on what you are looking to get out of Yoga, there are many variations of yoga practices that can provide you with the specific benefits you are looking for.  All in all, yoga can be a great addition to any physical fitness routine no matter your fitness level or goals.

     

    This is a guest post by Strauman Chiropractic based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  As the premier Minneapolis chiropractor, Strauman provides auto accident treatment, treatment for herniated discs, holistic care, kinesiology, physiotherapy and whiplash care. 

    Image Credit/Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yogamama-co-uk/3794867064

     


  2. The Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

    May 12, 2013

    Yoga for seniors

    by Jamica Bell

    Yoga has become increasingly popular over the last decade. In addition, it has also been proven to provide health benefits for people of all ages. In fact, there are now specialized classes available for two drastically different age groups: senior citizens and infants. The senior classes place an emphasis on obtaining positions that will help reduce feelings of fatigue, pain and stress. By enrolling in one of these classes, mature adults will be taught about the best yoga positions for their specific needs.

    According to wellness experts, there are several poses that work best for seniors: One-Legged Wind Releasing Pose, Staff Pose, Chair Pose, V Seated Forward Bend in a Chair, V Pose, and Relaxation Pose.

    Individuals interested in obtaining the positive health benefits associated with yoga should sign up for a yoga class as long as their doctor agrees that they are physically capable of starting a new exercise routine.

    The Perks of Doing Yoga

    This 5000 year old art form provides many physical benefits for those who participate in it on a regular basis, but it also offers several emotional benefits as well. Yoga is well-known as an exercise that provides people with a cathartic release from any pent-up emotions, making it ideal for anyone struggling with depression. In fact, many doctors will recommend yoga as an alternative treatment for certain physical and emotional ailments, and most people report positive results. The following attributes are just a few of the physical benefits of this peacefully exercise:

    • Aids in control of blood sugar in diabetes patients
    • Improves respiratory function
    • Improves arthritis pain
    • Boost bone density and prevents osteoporosis
    • Enhances balance
    • Fosters sleep quality
    • Diminishes pain

    Choosing the Right Class for You

    Whether you prefer an environment that is candlelit and meditative or instructional with higher impact, there are many options for whatever class best fit your personality If you want to take a yoga class with people in your age range, you can call a local yoga school and ask them if they offer a senior course. Additionally, if you are currently utilizing the services of an assisted living provider, you can ask them to help you find the best yoga options in the area. Major cities may provide mental wellness programs that may be more accessible than some rural cities. For example, senior living Birmingham communities have made great strides to ensure the senior citizens in their locale have ample access to quality mental wellness.

    What Should I Expect?

    When you first begin doing yoga, you can expect to have a little bit of difficulty getting into some of the poses, but your instructor will help you position your body correctly. As with any other new exercise program, it is possible that you will feel sore the next day. However, if you stick with it, you will soon begin to experience the many rewards of doing yoga.

    Is Yoga for Me?

    Anyone who wants to feel better both physically and mentally should definitely consider enrolling in a yoga class. If you are feeling hesitant because it has been a long time since you have enrolled in an exercise program or if you have never been physically active, it is important for you to remember that it is never too late to change your life. By signing up, you have made the first step to get in better touch with yourself and your spirituality. There are yoga courses that are designed for all experience levels, and a professional instructor can also work with several different physical limitations to ensure that you get the most out of the experience.

    Yoga’s popularity has grown so quickly because so many people have discovered that it truly helps them in several different ways. To take advantage of this lower intensity workout to improve your life, you should consult with an assisted living provider, hospital, or doctor’s office for a list of schools that offer senior classes.

     

    Author Bio: Jamica Bell is a contributing writer for several blogs and is an advocate for health and wellness. Chateau Vestavia is a senior living Birmingham community dedicated to providing wellness, comfort, and peace of mind to its residents and their loved ones. In addition to assisted living, they also provide independent living and memory care.

    Image Credit: yogamama.co.uk