Yoga: What it Can and Cannot Do
With all the hype around yoga you would think that it is a cure all and should be pracitced for every health condition you can think of!
Well... We should probably slow our roll when it comes to how high on this pedestal we place yoga. Yes, it is a fantasitc practice that provides a long list of health benefits, but people are starting to use yoga for things it really is not designed for and this can hurt instead of help.
Yoga is not meant to be a muscle building exercise routine.
Some people out there are starting to think that yoga is a way to beef up the muscles; however, this is not the case and can get people into trouble. When you go into a yoga class and want to use it as an intense workout you are proabbly going to jump over basic poses, and go right for the difficult poses. Dr. Ruby Roy a chronic disease physician tells us, "People think of yoga only as exercise and try to do the most physically hard poses possible. That may or may not help you, but it also could hurt you." If you aren't using the yoga class for what it is designed for you can get your body into a lot of trouble. Just like any exercise, when done incorrectly you can damage your body. In the case of doing extreme yoga poses you can over stretch and pull muscles.
Yoga is meant to help keep your body limber and flexible.
When you follow the yoga instructor, and move through the class at the correct intensity level for you, you will see improved posture, flexibility, and core strength. The movements of each pose are designed to help you keep proper alignemnt, and strengthen your body's core structure. One orthopedic sergeon states, ""Yoga can help with a lot of musculoskeletal issues and pain, but I wouldn't say it cures any orthopedic condition." The breathing exercises thataccompany the poses are useful to calm your body, and help you find a center. This center helps relieve stress, and studies have found that it helps people sleep through the night.
Yoga is amazing and is a practice we all should look into, but just keep in mind it isn't a cure all.
Each exercise is a wonderful way to open your mind and body to health, but make sure you are taking care of health issues that yoga cannot fix. Yoga might help relive the stress that health issues create, but don't confuse that as the cure. Enjoy the yoga mat and happy peaceful stretching to you!
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.