YAM’s Top 10 Reasons to do Yoga
- Relieve pain. 20 years of studies conducted at Duke Medical Center evidence yoga as effective treatment for pain associated with injury, aging, and chronic pain conditions. Yoga's fluid movements gently soothe and lubricate painful joints, strengthen the tissues that support joint health, increase mobility and calm the nervous system.
- Transform stress. Stress is an inevitable part of life. Consistent yoga practice strengthens our ability to respond to stress in a healthy way. Yoga combines breath with movement to activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing the physical effects of stress and maximizing the positive effects of choosing compassion and stillness.
- Breathe easier. Yoga teaches the mechanics of breathing, opens and strengthens the muscles and organs of the respiratory system, and promotes relaxed, natural breathing. The National Institute of Health conducted a study demonstrating significant improvement in expiratory flow rate in asthma patients with a regular yoga practice.
- Strengthen your heart. Yoga improves circulation and aids in moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells. Even a gentle yoga practice provides cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake.
- Befriend your body. Today’s fast-paced lifestyles have many of us living with chronic stress, struggling to eat well, and depriving our bodies of the sleep and exercise required to stay healthy. Yoga affords an opportunity to slow down and spend time with the only body you are going to get in this lifetime! Through practice, we begin to truly appreciate our bodies and make better choices to bring peace and health to our lives.
- Learn how your body works. Yoga is like an owner’s manual on how to move and live in our bodies in a healthy, sustainable way. Yoga improves body alignment resulting in better posture, which can alleviate back, neck, joint and muscle pain. By practicing preventative therapies, we learn how to maintain good health and may reduce the need for conventional medicine.
- Acquire self-help tools to recover from physical and emotional injury. Learning to properly stretch and equally strengthen is vital to injury recovery. We develop patterns of muscular constriction in response to injury that can reinforce physical and mental health challenges. Yoga gives us powerful tools to grow and become more whole when faced with physical and emotional trauma.
- Balance strength with flexibility. Many people are unable to touch their toes in their first yoga class. Sooner than expected, ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, creating exciting new possibilities in the body. Yoga postures strengthen every muscle from head to toe. The American Council on Exercise recently found that in 8 weeks, regular yoga practice significantly improves flexibility, muscular strength and balance by 13% to 35%.
- Lighten up. Yoga reduces the release of cortisol—the stress hormone responsible for stress-related weight gain, memory loss, and anxiety. Yoga inspires healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of wellbeing and self-confidence. Studies show that yoga increases brain GABA, our neurotransmitter for peace and happiness!
- Regain and maintain a sense of youthfulness in body and mind. A new study links daily yoga practice to an increase in key hormones linked to youth and longevity. Yoga slows down the body’s aging process and opens our awareness to the beauty and simple joys of being alive.
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