hatha yoga trainingBy Faye Martins

Each of us has a unique perspective of life. Unfortunately, many people don’t experience health benefits from their daily activities. Time is extremely valuable these days. Holding onto a job requires the lion’s share of your time and you come home exhausted by your commute, work, kids, chores, and possibly, you go to college at night. How can you make a positive change? Believe it, or not, you can experience reduced pain and a better quality life by practicing yoga for 30 minutes, at least, three days per week. If you practice daily or for 45, 60 or 90 minute sessions, you will experience more health benefits. 

Holistic is perhaps the best term to define yoga. The practice is one that incorporates physical, mental, and spiritual health all into one big bundle of joy. If you are ready to embark on an activity to improve overall good health, you will find that nothing else can stand up to the completeness of the yoga package.

Physical Health

1. Flexibility: The most obvious health benefit of yoga is flexibility. By gently stretching and holding poses, your ligaments and tendons elongate, and you gain greater range of motion throughout your body.

2. Balance: Tree pose and Half-Moon are examples of postures that increase balance and confidence. These poses will decrease the likelihood of sustaining injury by falling. Balance poses also increase your strength and coordination.

3. Digestive and Organ Health: Poses like Seated Twist and Cat pose gently massage organs and increase blood flow. This results in detoxification, better circulation and increased energy. Good organ health is vital in the prevention of disease.

Mental Health

4. Memory: By engaging in postures, breathing exercises and meditations, you learn to keep your mind clear for longer periods. This dramatically improves concentration and focus. Yoga also increases blood flow to the brain.

5. Stress Reduction: A major benefit of yoga is stress reduction. Stress is a leading cause of physical and mental dysfunction. Stress is the trigger mechanism for many health conditions, pains, and aches. Yoga incorporates controlled breathing, called pranayama, into the practice. By learning these powerful techniques, you can actually tackle a stressful situation at the onset, by just taking a moment to breathe.

Spiritual Health

6. Awareness: When you begin to practice yoga, you build self-awareness. You find you are no longer sleepwalking through life, but feel connected to yourself and others. This empowers you to make better decisions and be more compassionate.

7. Peacefulness: The practice of chanting and meditation, in combination with yoga, will enhance your ability to be in the moment. Learning this skill calms the mind and creates a peaceful, satisfied state of being.

If you are looking to make positive changes, you will find that a regular yoga practice can be beneficial to most any aspect of your life. Yoga can bring you more happiness, productivity, creativity, and energy. It can improve your posture, your digestion, your relationships, and your overall health. It just makes perfect sense to get on the mat, and begin your journey to your very best self.

© Copyright 2009 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Faye Martins is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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