Health & Wellness

Namaste Healthy With Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that is known to be one of the best aerobic exercises you can do for mind, body, and spirit. With such a relaxed approach toward exercise, it has gained popularity, and rightfully so, due to all the benefits it brings to your body.

How Yoga Helps

Yoga focuses the mind and energizes the body with both physical and mental health benefits. It helps you build strength, improve flexibility, and manage emotions. The practice has also been shown to ease certain side effects of cancer therapy. The bonus to this exercise is just about anyone can do it, regardless of age or fitness level, due to low impact movements and the ability to adjust the difficulty level.

Yoga can help improve the following health conditions among many others:

  • Mental, including depression and anxiety
  • Musculoskeletal, including chronic pain, aching backs, osteoporosis, and arthritis
  • Cardiovascular, including high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Respiratory, including breathing difficulties

Practice These Poses

Practicing yoga does more than just stretch your muscles, it also helps your body build stronger muscles. Improve strength, flexibility, and posture at home with the following five yoga poses.

  • Bridge. Lie flat on the floor, bend knees and set feet on the floor, and then push your hips up and make your thighs parallel with one another. Once in this position, clasp your hands together under your hips and hold for 30 seconds to a minute. This pose strengthens your back, glutes, and torso.
  • Chair. Stand tall and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor, keep arms parallel facing inward around your head, bend your knees, and keep your thighs as parallel as possible. Then, take your tailbone down toward the floor, keeping the lower back long, and hold for 30 seconds to a minute. This pose strengthens your arms, legs, and torso.
  • Downward-facing dog. Come to the floor on your hands and knees, set your knees right below your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders, and lift your knees away from the floor. After lifting your knees, push your tailbone upwards and extend your legs, pressing your feet into the ground, and hold for one to three minutes. This pose strengthens your arms and legs.
  • Locust. Lie flat on the floor on your stomach with your arms by your side and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. Once in this position, raise your arms parallel to the floor and look forward. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. This pose strengthens your torso, legs, and arms.
  • Plank. Lie flat on the floor on your stomach, putting your arms perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists and your torso parallel to the floor. After prepping, press your body upwards with your arms fully extended and hold for 30 seconds to a minute. This pose strengthens your arms and torso.

Talk with your doctor before beginning a yoga routine or any type of new exercise regimen, especially if you have a chronic condition. Schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician today.

Sources:
Why You Should Try Yoga
Hold That Pose: Yoga May Ease Tough Depression
Low Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try Yoga
Why Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation Are Good for You
Yoga Called Good Medicine for High Blood Pressure
Yoga, Meditation May Ease Some Breast Cancer Symptoms
Health Tip: Beginning Yoga

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