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Ready to Move Ahead? Turn the Page With Yoga

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are still looking for that perfect health routine that covers more of the bases, yoga may be a contender for a fresh new mental and physical tune-up.

Harvard Health endorses yoga to tone muscles, sharpen balance, stretch flexibility and improve health. Fans will also tell you it's a great stress eraser, spirit lifter, and overall motivator. That's a lot of results for an hour a week in a class or home sessions on your mat a couple times a week.

I discovered yoga when I was looking for a stress outlet as I coped with a tension-filled job. I soon found my hour on the mat every week was the best stress reduction prescription I could get.  I could feel my stress melting as I settled onto my mat. By the time the class was over I was ready to move forward and conquer all of my foes.

Wherever you are with goals and health issues, yoga may have some good answers. According to Harvard Health researchers, yoga may be a good choice for all of these.

  • Yoga can help reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Yoga may relieve migraines, fight osteoporosis, MS, IBS or fibromyalgia
  • Yoga may teach you breathing techniques that you can use anywhere to calm down
  • Yoga may also increase the flexibility of blood vessels

Yoga can also help recovering cancer patients strengthen their muscles, improve balance and boost their spirits.

Getting Started

If you are brand new to yoga, or thinking of giving it another try, you will want to sample a local studio, gym, or community class. Go to observe, and then talk with the yoga instructor about your needs and goals. A certified instructor can help you sort through the options and steer you in the right direction.

If you are already in great shape, a hot yoga class may be just right. If you are not exactly immersed in daily fitness routines, a slower paced basic class may work better. If you have health or age issues, you may want to look for a restorative yoga class, where the instructor will monitor you and start where you are. Restorative yoga classes are often linked to hospitals, medical centers and physical therapy units. Check local facilities for classes.

Keep looking until you find just the right class. You will know it when you settle onto your mat and everything comes together perfectly.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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