The Surprising Benefits of Yoga You Need to Know About
There are many styles of yoga, and several are becoming increasingly popular as a means of staying fit. Yoga has so many incredible benefits, it:
- Increases flexibility
- Helps maintain healthy blood pressure
- Improves digestion
- Alleviates stress
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves sleep
- Improves circulation
- Reduces the risk of depression
- Eliminates backaches
But what you may not know is that yoga can benefit you in some other surprising ways. If you’re not already practicing yoga you can find yoga classes near you, start with DVDs or books in your own home, or find free information online and videos on YouTube.
Helping You Deal With Cancer
If you are a cancer patient or a cancer survivor, yoga can help you in a number of ways. No matter how sick or tired you are feeling, this gentle exercise can help you find relief and strengthen your body. Yoga can also help you eliminate toxins from your body, alleviate stress and boost your immune system. Studies have shown that regular exercise can stimulate your body’s natural anti-cancer defenses. However, you may not feel up to performing strenuous exercise, so yoga, with its slow movements and relaxing poses, presents the perfect solution.
If you are going through radiation or chemotherapy, yoga can provide a means of strengthening your body and increasing your overall feeling of well-being. If you are recovering from surgery, it is a gentle solution for increasing your flexibility. Many cancer sufferers and survivors have benefitted from practicing yoga, and have found that it produces an inner strengthening and calm that not only improves their health but also many other aspects of their lives.
Helping you Deal with Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain may have a number of causes including a damaged rotator cuff, tendinitis – inflammation of the band of fibers attached to the bone, bursitis – inflammation of the sac of fluid in the upper shoulder area, muscle injury or arthritis. You should take care if you are practicing yoga to make sure that you do not put too much pressure on the shoulder joints and cause further damage. Gentle poses such as the fish pose, eagle arms and shoulder shrugs may help to alleviate pain and increase flexibility.
Constipation can cause a number of symptoms including fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, distention of the abdomen, stomach cramps, insomnia, and anemia. Sometimes it can also cause your body temperature to increase up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. You should not strain to have a bowel movement as this can cause anal tearing and hemorrhoids. The main causes of constipation are insufficient fiber in the diet, insufficient liquids, medication, hypothyroidism, hypokalemia, illness, lead poisoning, and diverticula. Yoga has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. Yoga can help relieve constipation in a number of ways such as regulating the flow of blood, strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles, and stimulating the flow of waste material through the intestines. Many yoga postures can also help to improve digestive processes.
Heart Pumping Yoga
We’ve all heard how good yoga is for our physical, mental and emotional health, but there’s a form of yoga that you may not have heard of, and it really gets your heart pumping. Its name is Bikram yoga, named after its founder Bikram Choudhury. Bikram yoga is concerned with purifying the physical body and its energies as well as strengthening and toning all of the muscles. Bikram differs in a significant way; it is performed at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The purpose of the raised temperature is to keep the muscles warm and increase their flexibility so that you can work through a more challenging routine of postures. A usual Bikram session lasts for around an hour with ten minutes and the beginning and end to warm up and cool down. During the session you will work through 26 different poses, each of which is repeated twice. The complete routine exercises each of your muscle groups. Each posture is performed standing, lying or sitting. During each pose you will focus on the position of your body, your breathing technique and on maintaining mental clarity. As well as strengthening your heart and flexing the muscles, Bikram’s unique postures also massage the internal organs and glands, helping to eliminate toxins from the liver and kidneys. The raised temperature also helps eliminate toxins through the skin via perspiration. This makes it a great cure for a hangover.
The series of poses involved in yoga are specifically designed to improve your general health and overall wellbeing. They also actually massage certain organs within the body which prevents diseases such as heart disease diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. If you haven’t started practicing yet, now you have many reasons to give yoga a try!
Nicole Rogers discovered yoga a few years ago and loves the way it makes her feel. Nicole always struggled with sports and exercise, the gym being one of her least desired destinations! But yoga is totally different and something she enjoys doing as part of a group and alone at home.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!