Today's Fitness Tip

Daily fitness and wellness tips

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Health Benefits of Yoga

Health Benefits of Yoga

Yjackie4oga is a Hindu spiritual discipline which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. “Yoga” means united, because you are uniting your mind, body, and breathe. Yoga is practiced to improve overall fitness and to reduce stress.

Yoga improves your overall health by relieving tension in the muscles. Your back, neck, and shoulders tend to carry the most tension throughout the day. Through yoga, you will notice improvements in your muscle flexibility. Maybe you couldn’t touch your toes in the beginning; but if you stick with yoga, you will notice a gradual loosening of the muscles.

Yoga also helps perfect your posture. Poor posture can lead to back, neck, and joint problems later in life. As you slump, your body may recompense by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back which cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

With its series of postures and controlled-breathing exercises, yoga is a popular stress reliever. The left prefrontal cortex shows a heightened activity in meditators, which correlates with greater levels of happiness. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peacefulness of body, helping you relax and manage your stress and anxiety.

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Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga
Today I had the opportunity to be the substitute instructor for a Cancer Survivor group’s “Gentle Yoga” class. Although I am not a certified Yoga instructor, I do incorporate some stretches and poses into my workouts. Because the class was titled “Gentle Yoga”, I pulled up a “Chair Yoga” workout on line and modified it a bit. chair yoga1
If you have difficulty standing or are just getting started with exercising, I recommend trying a chair yoga workout. Hold each pose, if possible for 3-5 breaths. The breaths should be long, slow, belly breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out through the nose.
If a pose doesn’t feel right, skip it. The workout should feel good. It should help open up your energy centers and get your blood flowing.
Following the exercises try my meditation. Sit comfortably or lie down. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Imagine relaxation moving throughout your body, beginning in your toes and traveling all the way up to your forehead. As you continue to breath and relax imagine yourself in a serene setting such as the beach, or by a lake, or lying in a hammock, etc. While you are relaxing in your special place build an image of yourself the way you would like to be in the future. Imagine merging into that image. After 5-10 minutes or whenever you feel ready you may open your eyes and stretch.