I went to my doc not too long ago and complained of too much stress. Her recommendation? Yoga! That’s right, not pills or therapy, but yoga! Check out today’s guest post by Emma and find out why yoga is recommended by doctors.
Fitness gurus everywhere have claimed that there is one activity which helps them live a more active life and improve fitness at the same time. Football stars and other professional athletes avoid many injuries because they also do this one thing.
How can you get your hands on this little piece of magic and start living a more active lifestyle right now?
The best news about this secret is you need little to no money to start. There are no awful pills to choke down, green concoctions to swallow, or heavy lifting involved that could actually cause injury if you don’t know what you’re doing.
What is This All About? Yoga.
Yoga is no longer confined to the mysteries of the east or busy urbanites dressed up in spandex. Men and women of all ages are participating in the gentle stretching and strength building provided by yoga. And, they are enjoying the benefits of less pain, a better ability to handle stress, and the feeling of contentment and even joy.
How to Start Yoga
Getting started is easy. Most areas have yoga classes for the beginner as part of a gym’s class schedule, from independent yoga instructors in a studio, as part of community recreational programs, or in the local community college. If you cannot find a local class to attend, or you travel a lot, you can purchase a yoga DVD.
What is Yoga?
A study in the Journal of Behavioral Health and Services & Research noted that it’s a “holistic system of mind body practices for mental and physical health that include physical postures and exercises, breathing techniques, deep relaxation practices, cultivation of awareness/mindfulness, and meditation."
That same study found that after 11 weeks in yoga, participants experienced a lower perceived level of stress and improved coping abilities.
Benefits of Yoga
A 2009 study followed 47 patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) that participated in an 8 week yoga program. All patients showed improvements after the study.
Anybody who suffers from pain, whether it’s from arthritis or from a back or knee injury, knows how difficult it can be to start or get back into a fitness routine. For some, yoga may provide an answer.
Are you Ready?
If you already suffer from back or knee trouble which prevents you from being more active you should seek professional assistance to correct or manage the injury or ailment. A specialist from Noyes Knee Institute says severe arthritis damage, for instance, can result in knee pain which limits daily activities.
Yoga may be beneficial, but you can’t experience its benefits if your back or knee pain limits keeps you from normal movement. Seeking the assistance of a professional is often the first step for proper diagnosis and recovery.
Beyond the science of yoga and its benefits of gentle stretching and deep breathing, something else happens. People feel more energized. Because of that, they tend to look forward to being active. Being active begins in the mind. When you start to feel better, your body will follow.
About the Author
Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2
Are you ready to get up and go with yoga?