Find Out How Much Yoga Can Do for You
By Sandy Schroeder
I am a diehard yoga fan, but its benefits really are worth noting. We know yoga can make us more flexible and improve balance, but researchers say yoga does a lot more.
- It fights heart disease
- It lowers blood pressure
- It helps us sleep better
- It reduces inflammation in the body
Actually, there are four major things that happen as yoga helps the heart and fights disease throughout the body, according to Harvard Health.
Mind-Body Connections Make Sense
After a few months of doing yoga, I began to notice several things had happened. My stressful job seemed a lot less pressurized. I was eating healthier, exercising more and sleeping better. For me, yoga clicked the whole mind-body connection into place. Exercise, diet, rest, and stress reduction were the puzzle parts that came together to make sense of my health goals.
Fitness Just Gets Better and Better
The longer I stayed with yoga the more fitness benefits began to show up. I found I could walk faster with less effort. My dance class was easier and more fun. It was easier to keep up with my kids when we raced to the park and I was ready to try hiking and biking on the weekends. Better yet, my blood pressure was lower.
A New Purpose May Emerge
Yoga's mind-body interactions sometimes help people refocus their lives. As they gain new perspectives, a higher sense of purpose can lead to a healthier, happier way to live. Researchers say people with a higher sense of purpose are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. At the same time, researchers say yoga may shrink blockages in arteries when it is linked to healthier relationships, a better diet and more exercise.
Bouncing Back Is Easier
Yoga creates a brand new "rest and digest" response that replaces the familiar "fight or flee" stress response. Too often stress causes our muscles to tighten, our heart rate to accelerate, and our worry limits to hit the roof. In contrast, the more we do yoga, the tougher we become both mentally and physically. When new deadlines and demands hit, we can accept them more calmly and keep right on going without falling apart.
Relaxation Becomes Automatic
After a few months of yoga, you may notice a calmness that keeps you level. Your days may still be crazy, and your free time may be limited, but everything seems a little easier because you are calmer. For me this was a real find. When I started yoga, I was struggling with a stress-loaded job that just never eased up. Looking back, I realize I might not have made it through that period without the support of yoga. Each week as I dropped onto my yoga mat, I let go of everything and felt my stress lift.
When you are ready to find out what yoga can do for you, observe a yoga class, and talk to a certified yoga instructor about your goals and issues. Choose the class that fits you and be prepared to be pleased.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Antonio, Tex.