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What Yoga Does for Health In So Many Different Ways

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are just starting or are way into yoga, you may decide to give it even more time when you look at all of the things yoga does.

The Yoga Journal wanted to make this point recently as they posted a list including many of the things yoga does for the mind and the body. See what you think.

Straightens posture – When your posture is straight, your neck and lower back are protected from fatigue and pain. Yoga emphasizes a head-to-toe straightness that corrects damaging forward head movements, slumped shoulders and a hollowed chest that leads to muscle and joint pain.

Strengthens muscles – Yoga helps build muscles to sidestep arthritis and back pain.  It also helps seniors avoid falls by pairing strength with flexibility.

Increase flexibility – Tightness in the body often leads to pain, but yoga helps to loosen the body and ease aches and pains at the same time. Tight hips, hamstrings and other muscles can cause back or knee pain and poor posture, but yoga can help the body work its way back.

Maintain joint motion and vitality – Yoga takes the body through the full range of motion which squeezes cartilage supplying fresh nutrients to the joint's cartilage. The only way cartilage can get these nutrients is through movement such as yoga.

Exercises the heart – Heart attack risk and depression are both lowered when the heart receives regular aerobic exercise. Some yoga flow or Ashtanga classes boost the heart into the aerobic range. Other yoga classes provide cardiovascular conditioning to increase endurance, lower the resting heart rate and increase intake of oxygen.

Lowers blood pressure – Two recent studies of blood pressure in The Lancet showed three months of using the Corpse Pose produced a 26 point drop in systolic blood pressure (top number) and a 15 point drop in diastolic pressure (bottom number).

Frees up your focus – You may find your mind working faster and your thoughts seeming clearer when you start doing yoga regularly. Yoga concentrates on the present by freeing up the body and  mind while lowering stress. The end result can be a better focus with less distraction, improving problem solving skills and memory power.

Keeps the spine healthy – Yoga’s twists, backbends and forward bends help to keep spinal disks healthy as that movement supplies each disk with needed nutrients. The spinal disks act like shock absorbers to keep the spine strong, avoiding pain and stiffness.

If you are considering yoga check with your doctor for approval. Then talk with a certified instructor and observe a class. Then find a spot on the floor for your mat and enjoy all of the results.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.

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