YOGA | For Lifelong Wellness and Healthy Aging
YOGA | For Lifelong Wellness and Healthy AgingFrom lifelong wellness, healthy posture and aging, flexibility, and so much more, YOGA is a known miracle. Definition of YOGA (Merriam-Webster dictionary) 1capitalized: a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation2: a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation derived from Yoga but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being Well, I knew this, since my Yoga Teacher Training, almost 10 years ago. You get bombarded with the Hindu philosophies and Sanskrit terms. YOGA is a science, which comes from India and is thousands of years old. Yoga means union, oneness and is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” (to join or unite). The body and mind is joining the energy of the Universe around us.
The spiritual Essence of YogaThe spiritual essence of Yoga always bothered me. I went as far as trying to find another word for YOGA, to justify what I liked to practice and share with others. I enjoy teaching yoga, love seeing people’s bodies transformed into a healthier version of them-self. Aches and pains disappear, flexibility increases and wellness floats to the surface. The attribute of Confidence rises and feeling better about themselves, just to name a few. In my own life, I never adhered to the typical yoga structure of teaching meditation, having a little fat Buddha Statue sitting in the corner, chanting together, speaking prayers in Sanskrit etc. Yet I reaped the enormous benefits over the last decade, practicing yoga 5-6 a week. My own posture, wellness and flexibility improved. I decided to immerse myself into more research to find the theory behind the wonders of yoga asanas (poses) and their effects on the human body and aging well. Collins English Dictionary, as follows:
Yoga is a type of exercise in which you move your body into various positions in order to become more fit or flexible, to improve your breathing, and to relax your mind.
I can agree way more with that statement, but can it really stand up to its claims?
Here is what I found, scientifically and medically:most of the claims made for practicing yoga stand up indeed. The benefits on both the body and the mind are profound. The anti-aging claims are even more amazing.
Why is YOGA so important?Practicing yoga, a few times a week reduces back pain, improves balance and muscle strength and reverses muscle loss, by building strong bones. Improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, stiffness in the body, insomnia and menopausal symptoms. Stretching keeps our muscles strong, flexible and healthy. Building this flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints, slowly, is key. Muscles shorten and become tight, if we don’t lengthen them by carefully stretching them out. Circulation in the body and organs is increased to twists within the yoga poses. Newfound strength as we age is important as well. The warrior poses (all standing postures) are a perfect fit for this. Balance is key, for example, Tree Pose, Chair or Half Moon Pose. This asanas (poses) will challenge you, but at the same time bring focus and you will find harmony, within your body.
The Yoga BreathYOGA lowers anxiety and depression. There are studies over studies to back up these statements as well as the testimony of so many practitioners, of all levels and ages. Not just bringing the body into various different delicious poses, but a few basic breath exercises are very beneficial.. Learning to inhale and exhale long and deep through your nose, counting and holding the breath will train your lungs, flood every cell in your body with oxygen and increase your immunity. As you gain understanding on how to breath, you will lessen the degree of hyperventilating when in a stressful situation. Take a deep breath , get focus, a clear mind and move forward.
YOGA in the Fitness WorldYOGA is the perfect counter balance to any other high demanding sport, like cross fit, plyometrics, aerobics, MMA, running, etc. Rising numbers of professional and amateur are turning to yoga to restore themselves between other sport activities. In my own experience I know, there would be no way for me to keep up with way younger women, workout 5-6 weekly, teaching fitness classes, lifting weights and doing longer cardio sessions, and HIIT (high intensity interval training), if I wouldn’t do yoga regularly. Yoga heals our bodies and our Nervous System, which gets under an enormous stress (fight and flight) as we exercise. Yoga helps to put our system under a more parasympathetic state (relaxes), which speeds up recovery.
What to take away from this article?Get of your sofa, no more excuses, join a gym exercise according to your ability and roll out your Yoga mat several times a week. A word of caution, if you never done yoga before, you might wanna consider taking a few private lessons from a certified yoga instructor, for safety. Joining a large yoga class, or online class, might not be the right thing to do at first. The downside is, you might get injured., once you have a basic understanding about a few poses have fun and find your Yoga Niche. Be active and age gracefully. According to Huffington Post, January 2017 the oldest Yoga Instructor is now 99 years young, still teaching and dancing. Porchon-Lynch, who is currently based in New York, knows the benefits of yoga and wellness for almost 9 decades. She states,” yoga empowers the brain, relieves anxiety and can assist in maintaining a lower healthier body weight. In closing, there are numerous opinions and ideas about what yoga actually is and does.. I haven’t invented or found another word for it yet. Yoga has a different meaning for every person. In the end of the day, it is what is in your heart and how you see it. Just keep moving, stretching, twisting and breathing and listen to your own body. check this link: on YOU TUBE Yoga for Stress
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