Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Balance Your Life & Get Fit With Yoga

After a surge of interest during the consciousness-conscious '60s, yoga began to fall out of favor. Exercisers apparently lost patience with the activity, which offers slow but steady results, and turned to the fast pace and quick shape-up of aerobics. Now yoga is back - but less mystical than in the past, less reminiscent of gurus in pretzel positions, and more attractive than ever to people who are interested in working out rather than working toward some spiritual goal (although there are certainly many forms of yoga that can help with that as well).

People in various yoga asanas. Original title ...
People in various yoga asanas.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once you step out of the metaphysical, yoga is a great stretch and flexibility program. Yoga is increasingly being used by those who are having a trouble in balancing their work and personal life. A stressful working environment and a hectic schedule has an unhealthy impact on the personal lives of modern day executives and so many are turning to yoga to bring about peace of mind and a better work-life balance.

Also, many disgruntled runners, weight trainers and aerobic dancers complain that instead of reducing the stress in their lives, their exercise regimes add more.

People rush to work out every day at lunch, force themselves to keep up and then rush back to work. Although being active in just about any form has health benefits, in some ways these forced, fast-paced workouts are somewhat counterproductive. Yoga is less competitive, less stressful, and above all gives a wonderful feeling of well being.

Indeed, the healing aspects of yoga are key to its renewed popularity. The strained knees, aching backs and neck pains generated by the push for fitness and the stress of making it in a competitive world have inspired many to turn to yoga instead. Some orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and neurologists are now referring patients to specific yogis during treatment.

Growing interest in the mind-body connection is fueling a major comeback of the ancient practice, boosted by research suggesting yoga can reduce stress and blood pressure, improve work performance, and even slow the effects of aging.

Several yoga techniques are now being taught in mainstream hospitals and businesses; books about them are brisk sellers and many discussion groups have sprung up on the Internet.

US Army 52844 Soldiers learn to connect mind, ...
US Army 52844 Soldiers learn to connect mind, body, soul through breathing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even the Army is interested - it has asked the National Academy of Sciences to study meditation, yoga, and other new age techniques that might enhance soldiers' performance.

Details differ, but a common theme is relaxing the body while keeping the mind alert and focused - on an object, sound, breath or body movement. If the mind wanders - and it always does - you gently bring it back and start again. Yoga exercises include holding and/or moving through postures that tone and strengthen muscles throughout the entire body, while increasing flexibility and range of motion.

Stress-related problems and musculo-skeletal pain account for 60% to 90% of U.S. doctor visits, and mind-body approaches often are more effective, and cost-effective, than drugs or surgery. For example, in one study of people starting a regular yoga practice, 34% of infertile patients got pregnant within six months, 70% of insomniacs became regular sleepers, and doctor visits for pain are reduced by 36%.

Yoga can be a great addition to your exercise regimen, and can help balance your life in many different ways, which is of utmost importance in living a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

Visit our website for more on holistic living: http://www.newholisticliving.com/.

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