Take A Deep Breath And Try Yoga
By Tami Sutcliffe, staff writer (C) 2013

Yoga is a fun, energizing activity that can be adapted for anyone, from the most physically fit senior citizen to the least active adult or child. Some types of yoga are even considered aerobic, since aerobic exercise simply improves oxygenization of the blood through an increased heart rate and deeper breathing. Yoga does this, too.

Yoga can also be deeply relaxing, helping you lower your blood pressure and increase your creative thinking. Simply said, yoga is a nice way to stretch when you are tired and a good way to energize your brain without chemicals, side effects- or even cost!

Yoga has been studied extensively by the Western medical community and is a scientifically documented form of therapy. While it has been associated with many unproven "New Age" notions, yoga itself is an ancient program, clinically proven to help in the treatment of a surprising range of problems, including carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, heart disease, obsessive compulsive behavior and epilepsy. Research shows that, like other mind-body practices, yoga produces measurable physiological changes in the body, and is often recommended to relieve the pain and anxiety of chronic illness.

What happens at class?

Generally, formal classes meet for 60-90 minutes each session, although the length of the class is not really important. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a non-slip mat or towel. (Much of your time will probably be spent on the floor) You probably won't need any other equipment.

Yoga classes in Western cultures usually involve three parts: breathing exercises, body postures, and meditation.

Classes often begin with breath control and then move on to gentle stretching and postures. Take a look at some of the postures here: [Illustrated guide to the yoga postures] Meditation is usually last, after everyone is relaxed and quiet,

Avoid yoga (or ANY other exercise programs) if you've recently been ill, had surgery or if you suffer from back injuries, a slipped disk, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor and then ask your yoga teacher about the best approach. Also, be careful if you are pregnant. Most yoga teachers can show you specific exercises which are recommended for expectant mothers.

Practice at home for 20-30 minutes each day, if you can. Shorter sessions can be rejuvenating, while longer sessions leave you completely recharged. Any yoga is better than no yoga: Like most forms of exercise, 20 minutes a day is better for most people than 90 minutes once a week.

Yoga is not competitive. You do not attempt to "meet goals" or even try to reach any specific level. Most postures are only "done" once or twice per session and your main objective is to enjoy and understand your own performance, rather than change your body. Relax and enjoy- and breath deeply!


If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself. - Eubie Blake

What's the difference between…?
A yogi is any person who practices Yoga.
A yogini a female Yoga student
A yogin is a male Yoga student.
A guru is a teacher.
"Swami" is a title of respect for a spiritual master

A cheerful heart is good medicine. - Proverbs 17:22


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