I always thought that Yoga was too slow for me. I remember watching my mother do Yoga as a child, but I never thought about doing Yoga myself. Last year, when I was 42 years old, I felt it was time for me to try Yoga, so I did.
I remember the first time I tried it; I turned on the DVD and started my new exercise routine and soon I was almost falling asleep. As a single parent, I had to be home most nights, so this is why I bought a DVD instead of attending a class. I am that person that people say “relax” to and here I found myself almost falling asleep very soon into my Yoga DVD, not from boredom, but from actually being relaxed. I was amazed at how fast a few Yoga stretches and breathing did this to me.
After I had been doing Yoga for a few weeks, at 20-30 minutes a night, I found I was becoming more flexible, toned and relaxed.The benefits of Yoga are:
· Increased flexibility · Increased strength · Increased relaxation · Deeper breathing · Improved circulation · Better sleep · Quiets the mind · Reduces stress · Improves the health of your Organs · Balances the Mind, Body and Spirit · More Oxygen to your cells
The practice of Yoga has been around for centuries; the word Yoga can be translated to mean “to center one’s thoughts”. It is a union that harmonizes the body, breath, mind and spirit.
At first, some of the poses can be difficult, even the beginner poses, but after a while you will get more strength and flexibility and Yoga will become easier. So stick with it and only do what your body will allow you to do, don’t strain yourself.
The Breath is very important in Yoga, so you should stay conscious of your breathing. Make sure you are expanding the stomach, the sides and the chest, without raising the shoulders. Breathe in through the nose while opening, expanding or lifting the body, exhale while releasing, closing or lowering the body. Concentrating on your breath will help quiet the mind and also keep you present in the moment. As Eckhart Tolle says “The present moment is all we have”.
One of the most popular poses in Yoga is: “Child Pose”, it is a great one for releasing tension and stretching the back. Here are some other poses:
Recent studies have found that people who practiced Yoga for one hour had a 27% increase in GABA, a neurotransmitter; GABA helps elevate mood and calm anxiety.
Heart Disease is also helped by practicing Yoga; experts say it improves the lining of the blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
A study done in San Francisco found that women who took Yoga classes for two months had a 30% reduction in Hot Flashes. Another study at the University of Illinois found that many women who took a 90 minute twice weekly Yoga class experienced less anxiety, stress and pain, while feeling a boost in energy and mood.
There are also studies done on Yoga and back pain; I know that Yoga has helped with my back pain. Use caution as you do need to be careful if you have a back injury, as you can hurt your back by doing Yoga poses that are too difficult and advanced for your condition.
So start some Yoga today………even a few minutes in the morning and or the evening can make a big difference.