Do you have a need for yoga?
by Adabelle Quintana —
Do you really know what yoga is and what it can do for you? Yoga centers are popping up all around the country, and many people, ranging from stay-at-home moms to celebrities, rave about the power of yoga. But, how can it help you?
The word yoga literally means to yoke or unify. It specifically refers to the unifying of three aspects of the human psyche: mind, body and spirit. There are many different approaches to the practice of yoga, ranging from devotional chanting to physical movements.
In the Western world, we are more inclined toward the physical practice of yoga, called asana. By unifying the breath and body movements, asana can be a gratifying exercise when the benefits are directly applied to your everyday life.
Physicians and experts recommend at least 30 minutes of a physical activity, five times per week, to reduce the risk of chronic health diseases. The activity must include forms of weight-bearing exercises, aerobic stimulation and flexibility training. In a single yoga class, you get all three. Standing poses strengthen muscles and bones; active movement sequences increase oxygen intake levels, which are linked to cardiovascular health; both combine to offer what yoga is famous for — flexibility training.
You do not have to be flexible to begin a yoga class, but the practice will help increase your range of motion, thus improving joint health, as well. Additional benefits include reduced stress, improved concentration and increased self-esteem.
So what does this mean? If you are a busy person with a limited amount of free time, a yoga routine is a great decision, because in a single session, you target all three of the recommended physical activities. Most yoga classes range from one to two hours, so by doing only two to three classes per week, you will actually exceed the recommended duration of physical activity for the week. If your current exercise routine needs adjusting, consider yoga to begin feeling the positive effects of unifying the mind, body and spirit.
Adabelle Quintana has her yoga teacher certification and is a nutrition student at Mesa Community College. By aligning the science of yoga with nutritional studies, she merges the physiological aspects of the human body, focusing the foundation of her class on physical, mental and spiritual well-being. 480-539-6646 or trueharmonywellness.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 23, Number 1, February/March 2005.