Yoga and the care free way of life

I recently wrote a couple posts on relaxation and stress management. I wanted to continue that theme with a blog about yoga. Yoga is something I have dabbled in from time to time, but haven’t taken it up on a regular basis. I know people who do yoga daily and absolutely love it. I sort of envy those zen-type of people. They seem calm, peaceful, happy and energized. So, I want to see if yoga really can lead to a care free attitude and a zen way of living. However, I’m a beginner, I know this. I can’t hold poses like some due to my balance needing some improvement and I certainly do not have the flexibility to twist myself into weird pretzel shapes. So, I’ve acquired a few yoga DVDs to do in the privacy of my home and am going to begin doing yoga two to three days a week. There are so many different forms of yoga that I had no idea which to choose or where to begin. Anything that said beginner on the DVD I figured was for me. I would recommend researching the difference between all the different forms and finding one that works for you. I will be switching from hatha yoga and power yoga depending on what I feel like that day. The power yoga can be pretty intense, but it’ a great workout. I have also found yoga to be a good exercise when I have really tight or sore muscles. It helps to stretch out everything after a tough workout the previous day. Anytime I do yoga I feel amazing afterward. I may hate some of the poses and find them difficult or uncomfortable while doing them, but afterward I’m left with an almost high feeling. It’s sort of the feeling you walk away with after a great massage.

The benefits of yoga are truly amazing. The purpose of yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit and it does just that. Many people turn to the practice of yoga to feel happier and more peaceful. I found a list of all of the health benefits of doing yoga on the ABC’s of Yoga website. Check out all of the amazing things yoga can do for you!

Physiological Benefits of Yoga

Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
Pulse rate decreases
Respiratory rate decreases
Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
EEG – alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
EMG activity decreases
Cardiovascular efficiency increases
Respiratory efficiency increases
Gastrointestinal function normalizes
Endocrine function normalizes
Excretory functions improve
Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
Breath-holding time increases
Joint range of motion increase
Grip strength increases
Eye-hand coordination improves
Dexterity skills improve
Reaction time improves
Posture improves
Strength and resiliency increase
Endurance increases
Energy level increases
Weight normalizes
Sleep improves
Immunity increases
Pain decreases
Steadiness improves
Depth perception improves
Balance improves
Integrated functioning of body parts improves

Psychological Benefits of Yoga

Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
Social adjustment increases
Anxiety and Depression decrease
Hostility decreases
Concentration improves
Memory improves
Attention improves
Learning efficiency improves
Mood improves
Self-actualization increase
Social skills increases
Well-being increases
Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
Self-acceptance increase
Attention improves
Concentration improves
Memory improves
Learning efficiency improves
Symbol coding improves
Depth perception improves
Flicker fusion frequency improves

So whether or not I will someday become a yogi is undetermined at this point, but I can’t wait to reap the rewards of the yoga practice. Om… 🙂

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