When we think about personal development we often forget about our body. The body and mind are very much interconnected and every imbalance will demonstrate itself and influence the way you feel psychically and on the mental level. Lets look here at the holistic approach to your health or what I call mind body fitness 🙂
When looking for holistic exercise you will find that Yoga is the best combination of exercise, breathing and meditation.
Who doesn’t know that yoga is such a good exercise and have so many benefits for our body and mind?! Amazing flexibility, perfect posture, relaxed mind and body, great focus and improved balance- these are only few of the gains.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy, thousands of years old. It was first designed as a path to spiritual enlightenment. Nowadays it is more seen as a gentle form of exercise and stress management. There are many different styles of yoga, but each of them basically relies on holding special poses (asanas) which are practiced with breath awareness.
Researchers have shown that the regular practice of yoga can produce many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalisation of blood pressure. Yoga is a type of the exercises which have amazing effect on our body but also our mind. By slowing down, relaxing and properly breathing we can lower levels of stress, and increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Basically yoga brings your body and mind together and seems like perfect combination of exercise, breathing and meditation!
The exercises of yoga are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of your body, increasing your body’s efficiency and total health. Breathing techniques increase breath control to improve the health and function of body and mind.
Based on Wikipedia
Long-term yoga users in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases brain GABA levels, and yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically-matched exercises, such as walking. The three main focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood-pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors. For chronic low back pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone in a UK clinical trial. Other smaller studies support this finding. (…) A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower-back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in the use of pain medication.”
How you can practice yoga
1. Find good Yoga studio
Depends of what you prefer, you can choose yoga class in your existing gym or more private small yoga studio. Professional yoga teacher will help you to correct your asanas, give you some advise or adjust your poses according to your flexibility.
It is not always easy to find good yoga studio or commit to the times when classes are available. Our lives are busy, full of duties, work, kids… never ending “I don’t have time for myself”. It can only lead to more stress and what comes with it some health problems. In this case you can try online yoga.
2. Online Yoga classes
The best online yoga classes I found on internet is Yoga Download.
You can find my review of this program here
By signing up you gain access to 900+ online classes. You have an unlimited streaming of various classes, free downloads to keep, all yoga styles and intensity levels to choose from. For as little as $10 a month (or $60 for a year membership during promotion period) you can give it a go 🙂
3. Reading Yoga books and following instructions
There are some good books available with great descriptions and pictures of asanas. Check my review of “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S Iyengar. Highly recommended!
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