2019 is coming to a close and every year around this time while most are thinking about the holidays, baking, traveling, and buying gifts, I generally like to take some time to reflect on the year’s events. I recently sustained another injury from swimming so I decided to look for ways to continue to be active in 2020. This search led me to Yoga.
Recently I came across an NIH article titled, “Yoga for Health: Positioning Your Body and Mind". This article reinforced the general health benefits that can be achieved from practicing any type of yoga (and there are many). The research in the article reveal that for some Yoga has helped with weight loss, lessening pain, (especially those with lower back pain) and improving sleep in older adults and those with cancer. More research is needed but it is clear that the art of Yoga combines physical, mental, and spiritual elements which may explain the general wellness benefit you can achieve from regular practice. This article also gives some practical tips before starting the practice of Yoga.
1. Choose an appropriate class and instructor. I personally joined two different “beginner” yoga classes this year and neither one worked out for me. Although, they were for beginners, they really weren’t for beginners like me just starting out. My search this year will be for a NEW class that is just beginning so that I can ease into the poses without pain!
2. Choose an instructor who is certified and experienced so that they can address any special needs that you might have and are willing to take it slow to avoid injury!
3. Speak with your medical provider first before starting any new exercise program of any kind.
Yoga seems like a great alternative to other forms of exercise. If you are like me, after years of engaging in high impact exercise, you may also have a limited number of exercise options so that you avoid injury. I found out when searching for alternative exercise options that many senior centers have free Yoga classes and you don't always have to be a senior to participate in them. You can also go to “YouTube” to view numerous Yoga videos on various styles of Yoga, or you pop in a DVD in the quiet of your home after your find the Yoga program that is just right for you.
It's pretty easy to get started with Yoga. All you need is the time and a yoga mat that you can pick up at a number of discount retailers for $10 to $15 bucks! This makes Yoga convenient and cheap! It really doesn’t get any easier than that and the benefits to your overall health will far exceed any time commitment to this 5,000 year old practice!
"In truth, yoga doesn't take time - it gives time." - Ganga White
Read the full article “Yoga for Health: Positioning Your Body and Mind" here