As we do get back to life as usual at this time of year the transition can be the hardest part. This includes re-setting goals and intentions for our self-care.  The great thing about Yoga is it can be the one place you can go for your physical health and overall wellness goals. Whether it is to reclaim some tone and flexibility, shed a few pounds or address the negative effects on stress on your physical health or mental ease; the all-encompassing approach of Yoga is a time tested solution. At the very least a balanced practice of Yoga can be the foundation for all that you do to live a healthier, more active, stress free and and happy life!

If you’ve been doing yoga only for a short while, or you’re new to it, or have never done it, you may be wondering, “Exactly what are the physical movements and poses accomplishing?”  When yoga first became a fad people thought it was nothing more than a strange way to exercise. This couldn’t really be worth the time or the strain, could it? Researchers are now saying that not only is yoga good for you, but it’s nearly a must for promoting health and well-being in your life.

Yoga Postures and Simple Breathing Practices Can Minimize Stress

How can those funny looking postures, with even stranger names, really do something for your body? According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, yoga is a fantastic way to burst your stress bubble. You know the problems you are dealing with on a daily basis:

  • The kids need you for a ride here.
  • The spouse is calling your name for help finding the keys to the car.
  • Your boss has no idea that 10 pm at night is time for sleeping rather than answering text messages.

The list goes on and on. Most people live in a world of chronic stress. Anxiety and stress both are contributing to a decline in the average American’s health, too. Yet, according to some research, it’s easier than ever to get rid of some of that stress and yoga is the place to do it.

What Is Yoga Really?

Downward Dog may be all you grasped from the video you watched, the book you read or the class you attended. There’s no way your body is bending like that. However, if you do, you may find that these postures coupled with some specific breathing exercises can be the right type of stress management tool for your life. It can offer the relaxation your body is craving and your mind is screaming for.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.”

It sounds good, but how can you get yoga into your life without having to block off even more time from your endless day? Here are a few ideas.

Go to a Yoga Class

Since yoga is incredibly effective for improved relaxation and chronic stress management, it makes sense to go to yoga weekly. One class can wipe out that stress and bring balance quickly to your day and week.

Do It At Home

There are countless books and videos available to help teach your yoga at home. Though it’s best to simply visit a local provider who specializes in this area instead, if you are not willing to step out into public, this is a good route to take. Get a yoga mat, turn your TV into an instructor, and pose.

Plan a Yoga Getaway

To really boost your ability to get some time away, check out a yoga getaway. Book a weekend trip to Utah or the Rock Mountains as a simple and yet relaxing retreat. You’ll learn how to do yoga and how to mediate, the two elements that make this type of tool so relaxing.

It’s Time to Get Moving

If you are still unsure if yoga is the right way to boost your health, just take a look at all it can offer. There are very few side effects, even those who are pregnant can participate in most cases. What about the benefits?

  • According to the National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the National Institutes of Health, “yoga is one of the top 10 complementary and integrative health approaches used among U.S. adults. An estimated 6 percent of adults used yoga for health purposes in the previous 12 months”.
  • In one study, the NIH states, those with chronic low back pain found improvement in less disability, pain and depression after six months of participating in yoga

Here’s what you need to know. Yoga, as strange as it looks and feels at first, is a fantastic tool for busting stress, improving body aches and pains, and giving you an excuse to hang out with your friends. Men, women, and children all benefit from the use of yoga. You don’t have to do it every day, but regular practice can make you feel good. It’s time to buy a mat and get started.

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004

National Institutes of Health: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga