Yoga: Great for Mind and Body

Reviewed Apr 30, 2019

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Summary

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often concluding with participants lying on the floor in a state of total relaxation.

Thinking about signing up for a yoga class? Millions of Americans enjoy the physical and mental benefits of this 2,000-year-old exercise program. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanscrit term for “union” or “joining,” and that’s what yoga aims to do—raise awareness of the connection between your body and mind through a series of stretches, positions, and breathing exercises.

There are lots of different kinds of yoga, with some forms emphasizing meditation and others focusing on increasing flexibility, so ask a yoga teacher which is right for you. Pregnant women, or anyone with a special health concern, should speak to a doctor before signing up and let the yoga teacher know about special conditions before class starts.

Who should take yoga?

One of the great things about yoga is that almost anyone can do it, including children. Whether you’re in shape or out of shape, old or young, yoga is a great way to strengthen your muscles and your mind. Yoga is a nonaerobic form of exercise (you won’t be jumping up and down), but it aids flexibility, strength, and relaxation.

What are the physical benefits?

Yoga is not strenuous but still has great health benefits. Though it can’t cure any condition, yoga may help lower blood pressure, cut cholesterol levels, and cut the risk of stress-related health problems such as heart attack, ulcers, and insomnia. It has been reported to help increase strength and reduce pain for those with carpal tunnel syndrome. The Mayo Clinic suggests yoga for people who have irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, and migraines.

What are the mental benefits?

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often ending with participants lying on the floor in a state of rest. Visualization techniques are also used to improve the balance between mind and body. Since feeling relaxed and peaceful is a main goal, yoga can lower stress and anxiety, improve memory and focus, and even ease some symptoms of depression.

Where do I sign up?

Most health clubs offer yoga classes, as do local YMCAs and YWCAs, community centers, and universities. Ask about your teacher’s qualifications, since yoga teachers may not be medical professionals and aren’t licensed.

Yoga’s focus on the link between your mind and body means that both are strengthened. A weekly yoga class may be the perfect “treat” if you’ve got a busy schedule, so put aside time for yourself and make that self healthier.

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: Wholehealth MD, www.wholehealthmd.com; Journal of the American Medical Association, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx; Yoga Journal, www.yogajournal.com

Summary

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often concluding with participants lying on the floor in a state of total relaxation.

Thinking about signing up for a yoga class? Millions of Americans enjoy the physical and mental benefits of this 2,000-year-old exercise program. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanscrit term for “union” or “joining,” and that’s what yoga aims to do—raise awareness of the connection between your body and mind through a series of stretches, positions, and breathing exercises.

There are lots of different kinds of yoga, with some forms emphasizing meditation and others focusing on increasing flexibility, so ask a yoga teacher which is right for you. Pregnant women, or anyone with a special health concern, should speak to a doctor before signing up and let the yoga teacher know about special conditions before class starts.

Who should take yoga?

One of the great things about yoga is that almost anyone can do it, including children. Whether you’re in shape or out of shape, old or young, yoga is a great way to strengthen your muscles and your mind. Yoga is a nonaerobic form of exercise (you won’t be jumping up and down), but it aids flexibility, strength, and relaxation.

What are the physical benefits?

Yoga is not strenuous but still has great health benefits. Though it can’t cure any condition, yoga may help lower blood pressure, cut cholesterol levels, and cut the risk of stress-related health problems such as heart attack, ulcers, and insomnia. It has been reported to help increase strength and reduce pain for those with carpal tunnel syndrome. The Mayo Clinic suggests yoga for people who have irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, and migraines.

What are the mental benefits?

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often ending with participants lying on the floor in a state of rest. Visualization techniques are also used to improve the balance between mind and body. Since feeling relaxed and peaceful is a main goal, yoga can lower stress and anxiety, improve memory and focus, and even ease some symptoms of depression.

Where do I sign up?

Most health clubs offer yoga classes, as do local YMCAs and YWCAs, community centers, and universities. Ask about your teacher’s qualifications, since yoga teachers may not be medical professionals and aren’t licensed.

Yoga’s focus on the link between your mind and body means that both are strengthened. A weekly yoga class may be the perfect “treat” if you’ve got a busy schedule, so put aside time for yourself and make that self healthier.

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: Wholehealth MD, www.wholehealthmd.com; Journal of the American Medical Association, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx; Yoga Journal, www.yogajournal.com

Summary

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often concluding with participants lying on the floor in a state of total relaxation.

Thinking about signing up for a yoga class? Millions of Americans enjoy the physical and mental benefits of this 2,000-year-old exercise program. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanscrit term for “union” or “joining,” and that’s what yoga aims to do—raise awareness of the connection between your body and mind through a series of stretches, positions, and breathing exercises.

There are lots of different kinds of yoga, with some forms emphasizing meditation and others focusing on increasing flexibility, so ask a yoga teacher which is right for you. Pregnant women, or anyone with a special health concern, should speak to a doctor before signing up and let the yoga teacher know about special conditions before class starts.

Who should take yoga?

One of the great things about yoga is that almost anyone can do it, including children. Whether you’re in shape or out of shape, old or young, yoga is a great way to strengthen your muscles and your mind. Yoga is a nonaerobic form of exercise (you won’t be jumping up and down), but it aids flexibility, strength, and relaxation.

What are the physical benefits?

Yoga is not strenuous but still has great health benefits. Though it can’t cure any condition, yoga may help lower blood pressure, cut cholesterol levels, and cut the risk of stress-related health problems such as heart attack, ulcers, and insomnia. It has been reported to help increase strength and reduce pain for those with carpal tunnel syndrome. The Mayo Clinic suggests yoga for people who have irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, and migraines.

What are the mental benefits?

Yoga increases mental, as well as physical, flexibility. Most classes include a series of deep-breathing exercises, often ending with participants lying on the floor in a state of rest. Visualization techniques are also used to improve the balance between mind and body. Since feeling relaxed and peaceful is a main goal, yoga can lower stress and anxiety, improve memory and focus, and even ease some symptoms of depression.

Where do I sign up?

Most health clubs offer yoga classes, as do local YMCAs and YWCAs, community centers, and universities. Ask about your teacher’s qualifications, since yoga teachers may not be medical professionals and aren’t licensed.

Yoga’s focus on the link between your mind and body means that both are strengthened. A weekly yoga class may be the perfect “treat” if you’ve got a busy schedule, so put aside time for yourself and make that self healthier.

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: Wholehealth MD, www.wholehealthmd.com; Journal of the American Medical Association, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx; Yoga Journal, www.yogajournal.com

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