Body and mind
Yoga. The word may bring to mind pictures of people holding seemingly impossible poses. But it's about more than just flexibility. In Sanskrit, the word yog means "union." The practice of yoga is meant to be a union of the body and mind. This harmonious union helps the individual try to reach a peaceful and calm state of being.
Yoga relies on your body's ability to move through a series of poses that require concentration and stability and, in the process, help you to stretch and tone your muscles. It requires no bulky equipment, which means you can practice it almost anywhere: in a class, in the calm comfort of your home, or even while you're on vacation.
Over time, people who practice yoga notice physical, mental, and possibly even spiritual benefits. Healthy rewards include:
- more energy
- lower blood pressure levels
- less stress or anxiety
- improved immunity
- increased flexibility
- increased range of motion
- improved concentration
- better cardiovascular health and endurance
- toned and strengthened muscles
- better respiratory capacity
- improved posture
- possible weight loss
For many people, yoga provides a stress release and allows time for relaxation and meditation. It also helps you become more aware of your body and its potential to evolve.
Is yoga for you?
Young and old alike can choose yoga as a form of exercise. Even people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and asthma can benefit from increased range of motion, muscle strength, and endurance through yoga.
In the treatment of osteoporosis, a combination of diet and performing weight-bearing exercises is beneficial. Because you bear your own weight during a yoga session, this low-impact form of exercise is perfect for people who cannot enjoy jogging, running, or other high-impact activities.
Pregnancy is an exciting time to incorporate yoga into an exercise program. Stretching and toning muscles and learning breathing techniques can help expecting moms prepare for labor. And after birth, yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress and increase energy levels.