I attended my first yoga class 7 years ago after reading an article that linked yoga practice to alleviating anxiety and depression. Fast forward to present day and I can honestly say that it is amazing for both the body and mind, and is now becoming so recognised for its benefits that Doctors are beginning to prescribe it alongside medication.
Long term benefits include more restful sleep, increased joint mobility, increased metabolism, an increase in muscle strength, and larger lung capacity. It is also an exercise which can be modified to suit almost everybody. As with any exercise, it is advisable that you start off by attending yoga classes, to learn the basics and correct alignment, but then it is something which can easily be done at home, outside, or even in the office.
There are different types of Yoga – Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, Bikram, to name just a few – although the basic premise of them all is the same, to quieten the mind, connect the body, and teach things to bring into everyday life to enhance your wellbeing. Yoga poses, or Asanas, are what most people associate with the practice although they are just a very small part – Yogic breathing, connecting breath to movement, slowing down the ‘fight or flight’ response during times of stress, and focusing the mind on the breath rather than on the outside environment can all be invaluable in managing anxiety and panic attacks. Asanas which concentrate on balance help with increasing muscle control and focus, and have been proven to almost ‘rewire’ the Neural pathways which naturally degenerate into old age, making falls less likely and also helping ward off Dementia and degenerative decline.
Here is a link to a great Yoga For Complete Beginners – 20 Minute Home Yoga Workout!
Here is another link to a wonderful Yoga for Beginners web resource at Yoga Journal.
Disclaimer: People with existing medical conditions, or who are worried about exercising, should consult their physician before embarking on any new level of activity.
From the editor…
I hope you have found this useful and please email with any comments or suggestions.
Remember, even small changes to your normal habits from the list above will have profoundly positive effects on your health and mental well-being. All small positive changes WILL result in you becoming the You that YOU DESERVE.
I would like to thank Lisa for writing this excellent review of her personal Yoga journey.
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I hope you have a great week and best wishes,