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September is National Yoga Month

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body by incorporating breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress, enhance mindfulness and overall health. Here are some of the great reasons to find a class today!

Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga :

  1. Improves Flexibility - Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles.

  2. Builds Strength - Holding a pose can build strength. Whether it is a "balance" pose or a downward facing dog, firing up your muscles in these isometric exercises is a great way to build muscle tone and strength gently and at your pace.

  3. Increases Muscle Tone - Every time you complete a yoga session, you have gently and mindfully focused in on each pose. Holding poses and transitioning to the next poses helps increase muscle tone.

  4. Improves Balance - As we age, we lose some of our abilities to balance, especially after procedures like hip or knee replacements. Yoga practice allows you to mindfully concentrate on building up your balance muscles so you'll be less likely to fall.

  5. Supports Joint Health - In multiple studies, gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomfort of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis.

  6. Prevents Back Pain - Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.

  7. Benefits Heart Health - Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.

  8. Fosters Mental Calmness and Relaxation - Multiple research studies show that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  9. Reduces Stress - According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.

  10. Increases Self Confidence - Let's face it...when you have mastered a few basic poses, you are more apt to try to challenge yourself. And, as yoga is a very forgiving practice (where you are now in your body is where you are supposed to be) and isn't a competitive sport, when you start to notice better postures, fewer aches and pains and achieving tougher poses correctly and for longer, you start feeling pretty good about those "personal bests".

There are a lot more great health reasons to look into yoga. We haven't even addressed the psychological benefits in combatting PTSD, anxiety and depression, which are also very well documented. The passive stretches combined with the strength-developing balance poses in a yoga session can also combat insomnia, lift your mood, energize your body and your spirit and promotes better self-care.

If you are interested in making yoga a part of your daily routine, call Louisville Medical Center at 402-234-5049 for more information.

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