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Lifestyle - Yoga

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  Yoga means unity and signifies oneness. Through yoga exercises, participants can stretch and strengthen muscles, loosen joints and tone internal organs while focusing on breathing.

Yoga gives fitness to the mind and body.
It eases pain, stiffness and other symptoms of chronic illnesses like arthritis. It's low impact and will give you better balance and flexibility, increased strength, better concentration, stress relief, increased energy and an ability to relax more quickly at will
 
Important:
Before Yoga do some basic stretching. You need flexibility to help prevent injury at work, at home or during exercise. Ease yourself into a stretch, relax, and don't push or bounce. Exhale as you stretch. Inhale while holding the stretch. Close your eyes for deeper relaxation. Breathing exercises - used during meditation and yoga - improve the body's physical and mental performances.
 
Hatha yoga: The most popular form of yoga (Source: Mayo Clinic)
Hatha yoga focuses on physical poses and controlled breathing For those with extra weight Pranayama and Yogasana are two potential exercise solutions that concentrate on the abdominal region. They have been associated with changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain and changes in metabolic activities of the brain.
 
But all varieties of hatha yoga include two basic components - poses and breathing.
 
Yogasana, or Poses, encompasses the postures that are performed as physical activities for overall well-being.
In a typical hatha yoga class, you may learn anywhere from 10 to 30 poses. More experienced yoga students might know many more, including more-advanced poses that require advanced stretching and twisting. Poses range from the seemingly easy, such as the corpse pose, which involves lying on the floor, completely relaxed, to the most difficult poses that take years of practice to master.
 
Remember that you don't have to do every pose your instructor demonstrates. If a pose is uncomfortable, or you can't hold it as long as the instructor requests, don't do it. Good instructors will understand. Spend time sitting quietly, breathing deeply until your instructor moves the class on to another pose that's more comfortable for you.
 
Pranayama (breathing), a form of yoga, involves quiet, deep and forced breathing exercises that provide oxygen to the system
Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and gain control of your mind.
 
You'll learn to control your breathing by paying attention to it. Your instructor might ask you to take deep, loud breaths as you concentrate on your breathing. Other breathing techniques involve paying attention to your breath as it moves into your body and fills your lungs, or alternately breathing through one nostril.
 
Yoga - stress relief and other health benefits:
Yoga offers a good means of relaxation and stress relief. Its quiet, precise movements focus your mind less on your busy day and more on the moment as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
 
Other health benefits of yoga include:
  • Increased flexibility. As you learn and refine new poses- such as touching your toes - you'll find that each time you practice, you can reach a little farther. More range of motion means you'll be less likely to injure yourself in other physical activities.
  • Management of chronic health conditions. The breathing and relaxation methods used in yoga might help you if you have asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, low back pain, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis of the knees or memory problems. Yoga can also be helpful when combined with other therapies for heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga, when combined with a vegetarian diet, aerobic exercise and medication, has reduced cardiovascular disease rates and blood pressure levels.
  • Weight loss. If you're overweight, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to drop those extra pounds.
  • Balance. Yoga classes tailored for elderly adults can help them stay steady on their feet and avoid falls and hip fractures.
  • Coping with cancer. People with cancer and their caregivers who practice yoga may improve their quality of life and sleep better at night.
     
    While you shouldn't expect yoga to cure you, it can help some health conditions when combined with treatment recommended by your doctor. And if you're perfectly healthy, yoga can be a good way to supplement your regular exercise routine.
     
    30 minutes of Pranayama and Yoga, three to four times a week is recommended. This also can easily be incorporated at home during leisure time with other family members.
     
    Source: http://www.NIH.gov
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