I started to practice yoga along with the Wii Fit Plus a couple of years ago and noticed that my balance has improved from the few sessions a week; but my first real life yoga session was at a Health & Fitness Resort, Rancho La Puerta in Mexico.
Our instructor was Nathan Briner , a Yoga Master from San Diego who frequently teaches on the ranch. I remember how intense his 75 minute class was teaching us how to Stretch, Release, and Rebuild. Having learned of the benefits of yoga, I can see his passion in this fitness field.
Nathan demonstrates the importance of position in each application of yoga
I knew that yoga offered specific types of health benefits but due to a limited gym schedule and having already a set routine, it was challenging to add it to my work out regimen. Since my week long stay at Rancho La Puerta I have not practiced yoga again until recent weeks. I thought my fitness routine was sufficient.
However, during my health course that I’m currently taking, a whole unit was dedicated to yoga. Understanding the health benefits from the mind, body and spirit, the knowledge I’ve gained gave me the desire and motivation to carve out time in my usual routine for yoga. Knowledge is only as powerful as when one acts upon it.
For those who are new to yoga, yoga means union; the union between the mind, body, and spirit. There are many forms of Yoga. The most popular practice in the United States is Hatha Yoga, which focuses on posture and controlled breathing.
The benefits of Hatha Yoga by researchers have proven to decrease stress levels. If you aren’t already aware, stress is the leading cause of doctor’s office visits among adults in this generation. Yoga is certainly one of the best ways to relieve stress and increase flexibility and muscle strength.
Nathan shows various forms from his Stretch, Release, Rebuild class using foam board for balance & rope
Researchers focused on Hatha Yoga and the changes that happens during diaphragmatic breathing which helps us to achieve homeostasis by relaxing our body and mind. Science has now began to confirm these health claims and yoga is considered a complementary healing modality.
There are other profound reason you’ll want to add yoga to your fitness routine especially if you suffer from one of the these symptoms:
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Clinical Depression
- Reduces menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, sleep disruption, reduced quality of life)
- Helps copes with breast cancer and diabetes
- Reduce blood pressure (through relaxation effects)
- Reduce joint pain (lower back and other areas)
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Decrease anxiety
- Maintain emotional balance
- Academic Test Anxiety
- Increase flexibility
- Builds Muscle strength
I think the health benefits listed are enough of a reason for me to desire to implement yoga into my schedule. I may not always be able to stay at the gym for two hours, but with resources from DVDs and online tools, I can do this from home.
After all, my yoga mat has been collecting dust and it’s time to put it to use.
“Yoga is no longer a singular pursuit but a lifestyle choice and an established part of our health and cultural landscape.” ~Bill Harper, Publisher of Yoga Journal
Resource: Managing Stress: Strategies for Health and Well-Being (Brian Luke Seaward)