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Can You Lose Weight by Doing Yoga?

We all know yoga for its benefits related to posture and mindfulness — but it can also be a powerful tool to help you lose weight. Many experts agree that yoga works in different ways to bring about a healthy weight. Read on to see if you agree! Remember, we offer yoga — but also soooo many other class types so you can keep your workouts fresh and your perspective full of enthusiasm for your workouts. 

The practice of yoga supports physical, mental, and spiritual development that allows you to create the best version of yourself.

Yoga may also be an effective tool to help you lose weight, especially the more active forms of yoga. And you may find that the awareness gained through a gentle, relaxing yoga practice helps you to lose weight as well.

Many experts agree that yoga works in different ways to bring about a healthy weight. Let’s take a look at a few of those ways.

 InPixio Photo Editor 

Yoga and mindfulness

The mental and spiritual aspects of yoga focus on developing mindfulness. This increases your awareness on many levels.

It can make you more conscious of how different foods affect your mind, body, and spirit.

A 2016 study suggested that people who develop mindfulness through a yoga practice may be better able to resist unhealthy foods and comfort eating. They may also become more in tune with their body so that they notice when they’re full.

Yoga is thought to be especially beneficial for people who are struggling to lose weight in other ways as well.

A study from 2017 reported that mindfulness training has positive short-term benefits regarding impulsive or binge eating and physical activity. There was no significant effect on weight loss directly, but it’s thought that weight loss is associated with longer periods of mindfulness training. Further studies are needed to expand on these findings.

Since you’re advised not to practice yoga on a full stomach, you are likely to make healthy eating choices before doing yoga. After a yoga session, you may be more likely to crave fresh, unprocessed foods. You may also learn to chew each bite more thoroughly and eat more slowly, which can lead to less consumption.

Yoga and better sleep

Practicing yoga can help improve the quality of your sleep. You may find that you’re able to fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply when you have a consistent yoga practice. Ideally, you should sleep between 6 and 9 hours each night.

Quality sleep is often associated with weight loss. A 2018 study found that people who had restricted sleep 5 times per week lost less fat than the group that followed their normal sleeping patterns. Both groups were limiting the number of calories they consumed, suggesting that sleep loss has an adverse effect on body composition, including fat loss.

Yoga nidra is a form of guided relaxation that may help you sleep more deeply and increase mindfulness. You can also set intentions during yoga nidra, which may help you develop weight loss goals.

A small 2018 study found that healthcare workers who did yoga nidra for 8 weeks increased their levels of mindfulness. This mindfulness included acting with awareness and not judging inner experiences.

Their levels of sleepiness weren’t significantly different at the follow-up. However, this score improved the longer people did the practice. Larger, more in-depth studies are needed to expand on these findings.

Yoga and calorie burning

While yoga isn’t traditionally considered an aerobic exercise, there are certain types of yoga that are more physical than others.

Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga.

Vinyasa and power yoga are usually offered at hot yoga studios. These types of yoga keep you moving almost constantly, which helps you burn calories.

Practicing yoga may also help you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism.

While restorative yoga isn’t an especially physical type of yoga, it still may help in weight loss. One study found that restorative yoga was effective in helping overweight women to lose weight, including abdominal fat.

These findings are especially promising for people whose body weight may make more vigorous forms of yoga difficult.

Yoga may be a promising way to help with behavioral change, weight loss, and maintenance by burning calories, heightening mindfulness, and reducing stress. These factors may help you reduce food intake and become aware of the effects of overeating.

More in-depth studies are needed to expand on these findings.

How often should you do yoga to lose weight?

Practice yoga as often as possible in order to lose weight. You can do a more active, intense practice at least 3 to 5 times per week for at least 1 hour.

On the other days, balance out your practice with a more relaxing, gentle class. Hatha, yin, and restorative yoga classes are great options.

If you’re a beginner, start slowly — start with a 20-minute practice and build up from there. This allows you to build strength and flexibility and prevent injuries. Allow yourself 1 full day of rest each week.

Combine your yoga practice with activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming for added cardiovascular benefits.

As part of your routine, avoid weighing yourself directly after a yoga class, especially hot yoga, since you may lose water weight during the class. Instead, weigh yourself at the same time each day.

Poses to do at home

Here are a few yoga poses you can do at home if you don’t have time for a full session.

Sun Salutations

Do at least 10 Sun Salutations. You can increase intensity by holding some of the positions for longer periods or by speeding up the pace.

  1. From standing, inhale as your lift your arms overhead.
  2. Exhale as you swan dive down into a Forward Bend.
  3. Jump, step, or walk your feet back into Plank pose.
  4. Hold this position for at least five breaths.
  5. Drop your knees down and lower your body to the floor.
  6. Extend your legs, turn the tops of your feet to the mat, and place your hands under your shoulders.
  7. Inhale to lift partway, halfway, or all the way up into Cobra pose.
  8. Exhale to lower back down and then push up into Downward Facing Dog.
  9. Hold this pose for at least five breaths.
  10. Exhale as you jump, step, or walk your feet to the top of the mat and stand in a Forward Bend.
  11. Then inhale to lift up your arms overhead.
  12. Exhale to lower your arms back down by your body.

Boat pose

This pose engages your whole body, especially your core, and helps reduce stress.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended in front of you.
  2. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor so that your thighs are at an angle to the floor while your shins are parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you so that they’re parallel to the floor.
  4. If you can, straighten your legs while keeping your torso lifted.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat at least five times.

Plank pose

Spend 10 to 20 minutes doing variations of plank pose.

  1. From tabletop position, step your feet back with your heels lifted.
  2. Bring your body into a straight line. You may want to check your body in a mirror.
  3. Engage your core, arm, and leg muscles.
  4. Hold here for at least one minute.

Experience all the benefits of practicing yoga at ABC Fit Studio. We offer a variety of classes for people of all levels! Refresh, restore, and elevate your practice to the next level. Private training is also available. Schedule your first session today at (949) 305-3310. Join our online community on Facebook here.


Reference: [https://www.healthline.com/health/yoga-for-weight-loss]

Improve Your Mental Health on International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day is celebrated this month, on June 20! It’s a day to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Here you can learn the different types of yoga and all the benefits you can get from this relaxing practice. 

If you’re looking to improve your mental health and overall sense of wellbeing, a focus on deep breathing and gentle stretching through the practice of yoga may help.

Yoga is considered one of the oldest forms of exercise and although there are many different styles, from gentle to rigorous, yoga practice generally involves stretching, breathing and a period of deep relaxation or mediation.

A growing number of studies from the 1970s through to today, suggest that yoga can have a positive outcome for people managing symptoms of depression, anxiety or stress, among other benefits.

In fact, Harvard Medical School believes there is growing evidence that yoga practice is a relatively low risk, high-benefit approach to improving overall health.

Marked this month, the UN International Day of Yoga on June 21 aims to raise awareness of the many benefits, including physical and psychological, of practicing yoga.

Here’s a brief guide to getting started with yoga for mental health and wellbeing.

Yoga, Metal Health and Wellbeing

Yoga is a form of physical exercise that involves different body poses, breathing techniques and meditation.

Regular practice of yoga may help to:

  • Relieve stress
  • Lower anxiety levels
  • Decrease depression
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Enhance quality of life

Yoga is thought to achieve these benefits in several ways:

  • As an exercise, it naturally produces serotonin, sometimes called the happy chemical because it contributes to feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Serotonin in the brain is a natural mood stabilizer and has been associated with helping regulate anxiety and stress.
  • Regular yoga practice teaches deep focus and mindful breathing, two important elements in helping to relieve depression. Participants can better focus on the present, clear their mind and strengthen the mind-body connection.
  • Mental endurance and physical stamina are tested through holding postures through extended breaths. This increases endurance, strength and flexibility.
  • It helps modulate the stress response, reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration. This may also help in managing pain tolerance.

Getting the Most from Yoga

If you’re considering trying yoga to improve your mental health and wellbeing, keep in mind that it should be seen as a complement to your existing therapies, such as medication and psychotherapy.

You will find that yoga is available in many styles and adaptable for all skill levels. When starting out, explore several styles to find the one which suits you best.

Types of Yoga

Hatha

Incorporates gentler and slower paced movements, best suited for beginners. Aims to introduce beginners to the main relaxation techniques and asanas (postures or positions) used in yoga practice.

Vinyasa

Links breathing and movement together, pacing starts slow and gradually gets faster. Vinyasa aims to increase strength and helps to build lean muscle mass throughout the body.

Bikram

Takes place in a hot room where you practice a set series of moves to help blood flow. Comprises evenly paced, low impact moves to stretch muscles and improve circulation.

Restorative

Moves slowly through five or six poses for an hour to help you relax. This style is about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. Restorative classes are very mellow and a good way to de-stress.

Lyengar

Uses props, such as blocks, chairs and straps, to help you find proper body alignment. Moves focus on precision, timing and use of props to build strength and stability.

Ashtanga

Focuses on quick, sequenced poses and is more physically demanding. This is a highly energetic, very vigorous form designed to make you sweat.

You can try yoga at community centers, yoga studios, via apps, or through online guides and videos. There are options available whether you prefer to practice in a group or alone. Why not give it a try this month in honor of International Day of Yoga.

Here’s a few poses to help ease stress:

Get Mental Health Support

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need support managing issues such as anxiety or stress, talk to a mental health professional to help get your mental health and wellbeing back on track.

Gain a whole new level of body awareness with ABC Fit Studio. We have a wide variety of options and private sessions available. Keeping up with your workout plan will be easier than ever. Come in and take a tour, or call us at (949) 305-3310 and we will get your questions answered. Join our online community on Facebook here.


Reference: [https://www.psychologicalhealthcare.com.au/blog/yoga-for-mental-health/]

12 Facts You Should Know About Yoga

Considering starting yoga, but worried about not being flexible enough, young enough, granola enough? Well, you don’t need to be! YOU are enough! Get rid of some preconceived notions about yoga and read some informative facts about this practice below. Yoga could very well be your path to a healthier life! We love it – come give it a try with us. Our classes are totally modifiable – from the very, very beginner, to the advanced yogi – come join us!

If the ubiquity of yoga pants and associated gear hasn’t already given it away, yoga is making its mark on American culture. According to a “Yoga in America” survey conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, as of 2016, there were approximately 36.7 million yoga practitioners in America, up from 20.4 million in 2012. That’s a growth of more than 50% in just four years.1

You may have had some preconceived notions about yoga that are keeping you from getting started. If that’s the case, it’s time to set the record straight. Here’s a realistic explanation of the practice. 

You Don’t Have to Be Flexible to Do Yoga

Saying you have to be flexible to do yoga is like saying you have to be in shape to go to the gym, or that you have to be clean to take a shower. There may be a relationship between yoga and flexibility, but being flexible isn’t a prerequisite for doing yoga.

“You don’t have to touch your toes to practice yoga. If you want to touch your toes, bend your knees,” says Kelly DiNardo, a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), owner of Past Tense Yoga Studio in Washington, DC, and the co-author of “Living the Sutras.”

“Whether or not you’re flexible should not dictate whether you practice. Over time, yoga can help you become more flexible—that’s why we call it practice—but you don’t have to be Gumby-like to start. Flexibility is a result of yoga, not a prerequisite.”

Yoga Is for Everybody

Anybody can do yoga, regardless of age, body size, gender, ethnicity, or fitness level. Social media may have perpetuated the image of yoga in America to be thin, bendy, young women flocking to studios and beaches to complete pretzel-like body contortions. But the true image (and intent) of yoga goes beyond that.

“It pains me to think that people are intimidated to go to yoga based on what they see online,” says Jenay Rose, a 500-hour RYT, online fitness coach, and wellness influencer. “Yoga is for you, me, our sisters, brothers, nephews, grandparents. Yoga is for all. In fact, yoga means union.”

You do not have to be thin or fit into a particular aesthetic to practice yoga—yoga is inclusive and welcoming, and as Rose pointed out, it’s a practice for all. Just check out the rockin’ Instagram pages of yogis like Jessamyn Stanley and Amber Karnes, who prove yoga is accessible for anyone at any size in truly epic fashion. 

And you don’t have to fit within a certain age bracket, either. According to the 2016 Yoga in America survey, only 19% of American practitioners fell into the 18–29 age bracket. The vast majority of practitioners over age 30 and 38% of them fell into the “50+” category.1 All ages—from kids to older adults—can reap the benefits of yoga.

Yoga Is Not a Religion

For the uninitiated Westerner, there’s a lot about yoga that may appear “religious.” Certainly, there’s a spiritual element to the practice, but it’s essential to understand that yoga itself is not a religion.

“This comes from yoga’s Indian roots where mantras and chants have been used for many years,” says Brad Ormsby of Freedom Genesis, a yoga and meditation blog. “They’re meant to bring focus and help you awaken internally, but they’re not required to practice yoga.” 

And even if you decide to join in with the mantras and chants, you’re not “converting to yoga” as if you were converting to a new religion. “There’s a spiritual element that encourages you to connect with a higher power, but it’s non-denominational, so you can do yoga as a practitioner of any religion,” says Christa Fairbrother, a 500-hour RYT and the owner of Bee Content Yoga.  

You Don’t Have to Be a Hippie to Practice Yoga

Yoga is a practice that encourages self-awareness, love, and connection with the world. As practitioners become more mindful and conscientious of their actions, many do make choices that seem “hippie-like” to the outside world. But you won’t be shunned if you don’t fit into the hippie lifestyle.

According to the 2016 Yoga in America survey, half of yoga practitioners do say they “live green, eat sustainably, and donate time to their community”1—all positive attributes, by the way—but that means half don’t claim to do those things. So let the record state that yogis have no requirement to give up meat, join a commune, or stop using commercially-made deodorant. 

Yoga Is About More Than Stretching

When you go to a typical yoga class, you go through a series of asanas (poses) that can look and feel a lot like stretching. But the physical element of yoga is just a piece of the bigger picture. 

“Yoga is about the breath,” says Rose. “The true goal of yoga is to move your body, connect with your breath, and be in the present moment. The actual only ‘goal’ is to release excess energy so that you can sit and meditate, classically speaking.” 

These are some of the reasons why yoga is considered a practice rather than a workout. Being a practitioner isn’t just about what happens for 60 minutes on your yoga mat. It’s about what you take from that 60-minute session to carry with you throughout the rest of your day.

Yoga Can Be as Easy or Challenging as You Make It

“Yoga is not necessarily conventionally ‘hard,’ but it’s a lot more challenging than many people think,” says Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton, MS, a YogaFit instructor, and an Exercise and Sport Science Instructor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB). “Poses involve muscles that aren’t frequently used or aren’t typically held in a static or isometric contraction. Not to mention, yoga poses put your body in less-than-familiar positions.” The result? Beginners are likely to walk out of class thinking, “Woah, that was harder than I expected.” 

If you’re the type who likes to run hard, lift heavy weights, buzz through a high-intensity interval training session, and generally get sweaty, you may look at yoga and think, “Ugh, that’s way too slow and low-key for me.” You may even think, “My workout time is precious; why would I waste it on something less effective than my usual routine?” 

For those of you who still feel skeptical about “wasting” precious workout time on yoga, consider the following:

  • Yoga isn’t intended to be a workout in the traditional sense, but you can make it as hard or easy as you like. For athletes who don’t appreciate the basic downward dog and child’s pose, there are a slew of yoga poses, like crow or scorpion, that offer an incredible challenge. 
  • Yoga offers health benefits aside from calorie-burn that many athletes would benefit from. Balance, coordination, static strength, flexibility, and mindfulness are all benefits of practicing yoga. They’re also considered skill-related components of fitness that can improve overall performance in your chosen sport or activity.2 
  • Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Yoga is often a struggle for athletes because it forces them to work in ways they don’t typically work. Just because something looks easy doesn’t mean it is. 

Yoga Is Modifiable

Many people are scared to step out of their comfort zones to try something new. They may be afraid they can’t do the poses, won’t be able to follow along, or will feel inept when they typically feel confident taking on physical challenges. However, yoga isn’t meant to be one-size-fits-all. The practice is actually quite customizable.

If certain yoga poses or sequences seem challenging, you can modify them to fit your body, ability, and needs. Yoga teachers often even provide modifications for more advanced poses to make them more accessible.

“Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through yoga are to listen to my body, progress at my own pace, and to let go of judgment and criticism, both of myself and others,” Kirkpatrick-Thornton says. “Plus, there are a variety of positions and modifications for poses that allow for individual differences and ability levels.” 

You Can Do Yoga Even If You’re Pregnant

While it can feel challenging at times, exercise is good for a healthy pregnancy, and yoga is considered a safe and low-impact option for parents-to-be, as long as you practice safely.

“Yes, you should do yoga during pregnancy, but with caution,” says Simone Tucker, MS, a 200-hour RYT and Exercise and Sport Science Instructor at UMHB. “During pregnancy, and to a lesser extent during menstruation, the body produces the hormone relaxin. Relaxin’s function is to prepare the body for the upcoming delivery by relaxing, or making your muscles, connective tissue, and joints more flexible. While this leads to a greater range of motion, it also makes it easier for expecting [parents] to overreach during yoga practice, possibly leading to injury.” 

Tucker emphasizes that more experienced yogis should listen closely to their bodies and stay within their pre-pregnancy limits during each practice. New yogis should take a more proactive approach to safety, as they may not know their limits. Tucker says they should work with a qualified yoga instructor and attend specific prenatal yoga classes.

You Don’t Need Expensive Tools and Apparel to Do Yoga

Sure, you can head to lululemon and stock up on name-brand yoga apparel, gear, and accessories, spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, but there’s absolutely no reason to go broke to start a practice.

“You do not have to have the right look or clothes to go to yoga. That’s absurd,” says Val Minos, a 200-hour RYT and the creator of Alt-Yoga Vibe. “Yoga isn’t about the look, it’s about moving the breath through the body and finding a deeper connection with self.”

To be clear, you can do that while wearing anything you want, whether it’s comfy pajamas or the athletic gear you already have on hand. Not to mention, most yoga studios have mats you can rent and props you can borrow, so there’s really nothing for you to spend money on before your first class. 

You Don’t Have to Feel Self-Conscious in Class

If sticking your glutes high up in the air feels a little uncomfortable in a class filled with other students, you’re not alone. “Students often tell me that they’re afraid of the class environment as they don’t want to be ‘watched,'” says Calli De La Haye, a 500-hour RYT and the co-founder of Kalimukti Yoga. “I wish they knew that most of the practitioners are so in the ‘zone’ they hardly notice what people around them are doing.” 

While you may feel self-conscious performing certain poses, if you’re paying attention to your breath and trying to perfect your alignment, you won’t have time to think about the people around you. And that should tell you something—if you’re too engrossed to check out the rear ends of your fellow yogis, then they’re too engrossed to check out yours.

Yoga Is Gender-Inclusive

It’s probably no surprise to hear that yoga classes are likely to have more women in attendance than men. But that doesn’t mean men can’t join in on the benefits that this practice has to offer.

“I’ve never seen a ‘No Boys Allowed’ sign on a studio door,” says DiNardo. “In fact, yoga was started by men. Historically, some of the greatest yoga teachers have been men.” And today, more and more men, including LeBron James, Evan Longoria, and Tom Brady, practice yoga. 

Yoga Can Fit Into Your Schedule

Your yoga practice can take as much time as you have to dedicate to it. Some formal yoga classes are 45, 60, or 90 minutes long, but the idea that you have to commit yourself to an hour of yoga to reap its benefits is far from reality.

“Anyone can go online these days and find a yoga class that’s 5, 10, or 15 minutes long,” Minos says. “Making the excuse of time being the key factor in not doing something for yourself is something I wish people would rethink. If you have 10 minutes to watch TV or get on the computer, you have time for yoga!” 

Gain a whole new level of body awareness with ABC Fit Studio. We have a wide variety of options and private sessions available. Keeping up with your workout plan will be easier than ever. Schedule a class today at (949) 305-3310 and join our online community on Facebook.


Reference: [https://www.verywellfit.com/facts-about-yoga-4164862]

Yoga for Better Mental Health

Exercising is key to a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn’t only affect the body. We can learn how to quiet our minds by practicing yoga. This practice has been proved to improve mood and stimulate a sharper brain. Read more to learn how yoga may counteract age-related declines in cognitive skills, as well as boosting your mood.

With its emphasis on breathing practices and medita­tion—both of which help calm and center the mind— it’s hardly surprising that yoga also brings mental benefits, such as reduced anxiety and depression. What may be more surprising is that it actually makes your brain work better.

A sharper brain

When you lift weights, your muscles get stronger and bigger. When you do yoga, your brain cells develop new connections, and changes occur in brain struc­ture as well as function, resulting in improved cog­nitive skills, such as learning and memory. Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language. Think of it as weightlifting for the brain.

Studies using MRI scans and other brain imaging technology have shown that people who regularly did yoga had a thicker cerebral cortex (the area of the brain responsible for information processing) and hippocampus (the area of the brain involved in learn­ing and memory) compared with nonpractitioners. These areas of the brain typically shrink as you age, but the older yoga practitioners showed less shrinkage than those who did no yoga. This suggests that yoga may counteract age-related declines in memory and other cognitive skills.

Research also shows that yoga and meditation may improve executive functions, such as reasoning, decision making, memory, learning, reac­tion time, and accuracy on tests of mental acuity.

Improved mood

All exercise can boost your mood by lowering levels of stress hormones, increasing the production of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, and bringing more oxygenated blood to your brain. But yoga may have additional ben­efits. It can affect mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.

Meditation also reduces activity in the limbic system—the part of the brain dedicated to emotions. As your emotional reac­tivity diminishes, you have a more tempered response when faced with stressful situations.

Drugs and talk therapy have traditionally been the go-to remedies for depression and anxiety. But complementary approaches, such as yoga, also helps, and yoga stacks up well when compared with other complementary therapies.

A review of 15 studies, published in the jour­nal Aging and Mental Health, looked at the effect of a variety of relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in older adults. In addition to yoga, interven­tions included massage therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, stress management, and listening to music. While all the techniques provided some benefit, yoga and music were the most effective for both depression and anxiety. And yoga appeared to provide the lon­gest-lasting effect.

A number of small studies have found that yoga can help with post-traumatic stress dis­order (PTSD). It is not used by itself, but as an add-on treatment to help reduce intrusive memories and emo­tional arousal and to produce calmer, steadier breathing. Deep, slow breathing is associated with calmer states because it helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

ABC Fit Studio has pilates and yoga classes that will boost your motivation, inspiration, and workout results! Why not give it a shot? We are here for your questions and always have great specials going on. Visit ABC FIT STUDIO FACEBOOK PAGE or call us at (949) 305-3310 to get started!


Reference: [https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-for-better-mental-health]

Benefits Beyond The Mat

Yoga has been practiced by individuals for over a thousand years. It was said that yoga was meant to bring about awareness to a person’s self with the universe. Now, yoga is practiced in various settings and continues to show its health benefits towards individuals who practice almost daily. Even in the field of physical therapy, we incorporate different poses into our patients’ therapeutic exercise routines so they can receive the benefits and improve their overall health. 

Decreased Low back Pain 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals were required by the “stay-at-home” mandate to work from their homes. This forced individuals to create home offices. Many patients who experience lower back pain come into physical therapy to find relief and manage their back pain. There are certain yoga poses we demonstrate to patients that they can use to alleviate it. For example, the child’s pose can create an elongation of the muscles in our lower backs, which helps reduce tension. As shown in the picture above, the individual should gradually lower their bodies until their glutes are touching the heels of their feet. For an added stretch, extend your arms above your head and feel a gentle stretch in your shoulders.

Improving Flexibility

As time goes on and we age, our bodies begin to become stiff. This can lead to injuries such as muscle strains when performing quick movements. Performing daily can improve our flexibility in different areas of our bodies. Finding different poses to improve flexibility can reduce the risk of injury. Poses such as the downward dog (as shown in the picture above) can create length in our hamstrings and calf muscles. When these muscles are at an optimal length, injuries are less likely.

Managing Stress 

Not only does yoga bring about physical benefits, but it also improves our mental health. Being able to perform meditation with yoga can decrease stress levels. When we are stressed, our body’s immune system is lowered, which can cause a spike in illnesses such as the common cold. By allowing ourselves to take a break and to reflect on our breathing patterns, we gain mental clarity. Try sitting in a crossed-legged position with your hands on your knees, eyes closed, and focus on breathing from your diaphragm.

Improving Strength 

In addition to flexibility, there is also a strength component that goes along with yoga. Poses where you hold positions for a certain length of time can assist in increasing functional strength, as well as core strength. For example, performing poses such as the boat pose (shown above) can increase core strength. As you continue to incorporate yoga into your daily routine, you will start to notice an increase in your strength. 

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Starting Out 

While there are many benefits of performing daily yoga, individuals who are beginning to incorporate yoga into their daily routines should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if they are ready. Starting with 15 minutes 2 times a week is good for beginners. Always start out easy and ease yourself into the poses. As you begin to see a difference in your overall strength and flexibility, you can gradually increase the frequency of your practice.

Let’s talk! We are here to help. Give us a call for a complimentary consultation. We would love to meet you.

Did you know there’s no prescription needed from a doctor to see us – but we will communicate your progress and treatment to your doctor if you’d like us to! Visit our Facebook Page, or call us at 949.305.3310 for more information.

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