Should you do Yoga? If you want to fight off stress in your life, then YES? We all have stress in our life don’t we?
Your mobile phone is ringing, your getting text messages all day, your children are screaming, your boss wants to talk to you and your partner wants to know what’s for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try.
As studies continue to reveal yoga’s many health benefits, this centuries-old Eastern philosophy is fast becoming the new fitness soul mate for workout enthusiasts such as professional athletes and many successful executives have told me they do yoga 3-5 per week.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, relief from chronic illnesses and improve heart function. And almost anyone can do it.
This meditative exercise actually started out as a type of spiritual practice in India thousands of years ago now. It was done to prepare the body for meditations. Postures are just one part of what is referred to as a limb. There are many categories of Yoga such as; Vigorous Vinyasas, Attention to Detail, Healing and Ease Into Enlightenment. With so many disciplines to choose from one individual can find a form that works best to help them. I personally enjoy a mix of many styles Tony Horton includes in P90X and P90X2. I am sure he’ll put some yoga into P90X3 being released December 10th, 2013.
I prefer to workout at home so I don’t have to deal with traffic or the cost of classes. I can basically open up my garage door of my gym at home, turn on some light relaxing music, pop in a DVD and go to town with a mix of Yoga. I love the workouts and the benefits that help me fight Ankylosing Spondylitis.
I’ll be looking deeper into the styles that work best for me but if you are really looking to improve your health and fitness I would recommend beginning with a mix of styles found in the P90X’s or also Yoga Booty Ballet. You’ll save money paying for all different classes until you’re ready to commit one style or even two or more.
Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.
Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences. Such as these listed in Yoga Journal: Ashtanga, Power Yoga, Jivamukti, Kali Ray TriYoga, White Lotus, Iyengar, Integrative Yoga Therapy, Viniyoga, Svaroopa, Bikram, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Sivananda, Integral, Ananda, Kundalini, ISHTA, Kripalu, Kripalu, Anusara, Tibetan, Hatha and I am sure I’ve missed some.
The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:
~ Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
~ Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.
Health benefits of yoga
The potential health benefits of yoga include:
~ Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
~ Improved fitness. Practicing yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
~ Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.
After I complete a session of yoga I am spent, sweaty and every muscle is tired but most importantly I am relaxed and content. The stress of the day is gone and I feel better. Actually, as I write this blog I am considering changing up my daily workout routine to yoga in the morning and then working out with weights and high intensity training found in many of the other Beachbody workouts.
Yoga is generally considered safe for most healthy people when practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor. But there are some situations in which yoga might pose a risk.
See your health care provider before you begin yoga if you have any of the following conditions or situations:
~ A herniated disk
~ A risk of blood clots
~ Deconditioned state
~ Eye conditions, including glaucoma
~ Severe balance problems
~ Severe osteoporosis
~ Uncontrolled blood pressure
You may be able to practice yoga in these situations if you take certain precautions, such as avoiding certain poses or stretches. If you develop symptoms or concerns, see your doctor to make sure you’re getting benefit and not harm from yoga.
Regardless of which type of yoga you practice, you don’t have to do every pose. If a pose is uncomfortable or you can’t hold it as long as the instructor requests, don’t do it. Good instructors will understand and encourage you to explore — but not exceed — your personal limits.