Why Yoga May Be One of the Best Moves You Could Make

By Sandy Schroeder

If I had to single out one of the best, all-purpose ways to help the body feel better and actually be better, it would have to be yoga.

I started yoga about seven years ago, and I wish I had started it sooner. I began yoga in order to deal with a high pressure, no-win job situation that created stress non-stop.  And yoga worked!  As I continued to plow through some incredible work situations, those sessions on the mat became my stress relief tickets!  The best moments that I had all week began the minute I settled onto my yoga mat. 

Yoga Magic

Needless to say I found a new job, but I also hung onto yoga. Not only had it become my go-to for stress relief, I also found it helped me think better, relax more, stand up straighter, and care more about my body and everything else in my world. Along the way I lost a few pounds, improved my balance, achieved better range of motion, and toned my muscles.

Now health experts everywhere seem to be singling out yoga to improve a range of health issues, from heart disease to high blood pressure to anxiety and depression.

The Harvard medical community suggests it may be the way to relieve migraines and fight osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Other health leaders are suggesting using yoga’s breathing techniques in short sessions, to stay calm and release tension as you move through the day.

Another study, cited by healthharvard.edu, says yoga helped the study participants increase the flexibility of blood vessels and shrink artery blockages.

Yoga Has Gone Mainstream

If you are a veteran yoga student, you already know how good it can be. If you are a novice, or just considering yoga, I suggest you talk with a certified instructor and try a session.  It’s easy to get hooked.

Yoga fits all ages and types. Keep looking for the approach that fits you best. Then use yoga whenever you wish, using poses for relaxation, stress, sleep and specific conditions such as sciatica. 

The Tortoise Pose

Here’s a sample pose for the immune system, Kurmasana, the tortoise pose from MedicalDaily.com. The tortoise pose supports the thymus gland, a lymph organ of the immune system. The twisting movement of the pose is used to massage and rejuvenate organs to strengthen the system.

Sit on a mat with your legs spread in front of you and bend forward moving your forehead to touch the floor. Put your hands under your knees and try to spread them as far back as you can. Relax your abdomen and breathe deeply. Move slowly and gently and never force the pose. If you are new to yoga and have health issues, talk with your physician before beginning yoga.

Wherever yoga finds you, happily participating, or just considering it, one sample session might bring you back for many more.

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