By Jenny Park
When an intern is immersed in a Yoga instructor training course, he or she begins to put pieces of knowledge together. Concepts like skeletal compression and how to decompress one’s back begin to seem obvious. Paul was giving us the particulars of spinal compression and decompression last week. Let’s look at the shoulder stand for example: the lower back decompresses, but the upper spine compresses. This is obvious to someone with medical knowledge, but not so obvious to most people who have no understanding of body mechanics. This knowledge should also be part of any Yoga certification course, which practices physical posturing exercises.
Yoga is more than just a lifestyle choice. It is also a highly regarded form of exercise that has numerous benefits. It can relieve stress, promote healthier sleep, and there’s little doubt that it can increase flexibility. Aside from all that, can Yoga training increase your height? That’s a question that many people have asked. While it’s true that genetics obviously play a huge role regarding height and many other physical attributes, it seems that physical conditioning with Hatha Yoga can also help. The benefits of stretching and how it can improve daily posture are well known. Improving one’s posture can often lead to an increase in height just because we are standing taller and our spines are strengthened.
Don’t Accept Pain When You Can Change It
Many people mistakenly believe that back, neck, and shoulder pain are just a natural part of life. This pain often causes us to contort and move in strange ways, many times without us being fully aware of what we are doing. However, incorporating certain types of stretching exercises that are regularly used in Yoga can break the cycle. Yogic exercises can help to reduce pain as well as strengthen the spine, back and abdomen. Strengthening those areas lead to a stronger core, which can help the body in a number of ways.
Often, there are times when we start a new form of exercise and we quickly become aware of the benefits that we can get from it. Many people know that cardiovascular exercises can help trim fat and build muscle. Obviously, lifting weights can help to build muscle and increase lean muscle mass. Yet, in Yogic exercise there are often subtle benefits, which are not as easy to see. Yoga is a holistic form of exercise that has physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
Where’s the Respect?
Sometimes people think that if an exercise regimen isn’t a form of high impact aerobics that it isn’t necessarily worth their time. That simply isn’t true. There are many different types of Yoga teachers, concepts, and physical exercises that include gentle stretching all the way through intense postures (asanas). All forms of physical Yoga can be beneficial in many different regards, depending on a person’s goals. It can especially good for people who are looking to strengthen their core muscles in order to stand a bit straighter and maybe, just maybe, stand a bit taller.
Although I’ve rambled on about the not so obvious benefits of asana practice, the act of stretching creates space in your joints. Therefore, your ankles, knees, hips and spine are temporarily decompressed. It would be conservative to say: this could add up to less than an inch if one practiced postures and stretched over the course of a few months. Some of you have data out there and I’m just throwing estimates around, but it makes sense. Yogic exercise is a form of non-surgical spinal decompression and when you decompress the spine, you should be a bit taller. Therefore, I ask you academics to present your opinion and any possible research you have. Namaste!
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