Article by Chrissy MacDonald
Yoga means “union.” Yoga is a positive way of life that teaches relaxation, positive thinking, truthfulness, proper diet and healthy living.Hatha Yoga combines breathing with physical postures, or asanas, which are done slowly and mindfully. As the breath is coordinated with the postures and the body is moved and stretched in wonderful ways, you come to realize a state of mental and physical health and well-being.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Regular practice of yoga has many wonderful physical benefits. Yoga can improve muscle tone, digestion and the immune system. It can help increase oxygen intake so the lungs operate more efficiently. Body alignment and balance can improve. Yoga gives you energy and helps you relax and stay relaxed. Yoga helps to improve all systems of the body including the glands and nerves. Yoga can even help slow down the effects of aging. Many health concerns such as arthritis, headaches and digestion problems can improve with a regular yoga practice.
Yoga is great for athletes. A regular practice of Yoga helps develop focus, concentration, strength and flexibility. Many hockey players and basketball players include Yoga into their fitness program. The Edmonton Oilers NHL Team and Ottawa Senators NHL Team have included yoga into their programs as well as tennis player Maria Sharapova.
Anyone can practice YogaThe beauty of Yoga is that you can do it at your own pace and always receive the benefits regardless of your individual level of flexibility and strength.There is a yoga pose for everyone and all poses can be modified to fit a person’s body. Sometimes props are used to help a person do a pose and after regular practice they may no longer be needed.
Yoga is invigorating
Yoga can make you feel alive and energetic. You’re moving your body the way it was meant to move – bending and stretching, increasing strength with wonderful moves that don’t wear you out. One of my Yoga students who had arthritis once told me Yoga made him feel like a kid again. Y oga will make your body feel alive and put you in touch with your true self.
Joy and Contentment
Yoga is a wonderful way to feel joy and contentment. This is one of the most wonderful benefits that I discovered many years ago. I was practicing in my living room every morning learning the poses and I experienced a sense of peace, or equilibrium that seemed to help me get through life’s challenges. It’s contentment no matter what happens.
Peace and Stillness
Regular Yoga practice can help you to slow down and discover the peace and stillness in your heart. Everything seems to fall into place when we listen to our heart, when we take time to listen to the silence.
About the Author
Chrissy MacDonald is a Yoga Teacher and author of the E-Booklet: Simply Fit – A Six Week Plan for Healthy Living and Permanent Weight Control available at http://www.calicopages.com