Yoga has gained wild popularity over the past couple of decades. What once was largely thought of as an odd Eastern practice has become about as mainstream as any fitness program can. Yoga studios are popping up all over the country, even in the smallest of towns. As its reach has expanded, more and more are learning the overwhelming health benefits that regular yoga practice has to offer, not the least of which is keeping practitioners looking and feeling young.
Yoga is unique in its ability to bring together the mind, body, and spirit for an all-encompassing experience. Yogis focus on breathing techniques, meditation, and physical positioning to get the very most out of each session. The practice has been shown to not only lead to increased physical strength, but also to help lower stress. This alone can help fight off some more common age-related illnesses, but here are a few more benefits:
- Joint Health – As we age, joints begin to deteriorate. Conditions such as arthritis are seen more frequently as the once healthy cartilage that safeguarded these areas begins to erode. However, research has shown that among the most effective ways to protect against, or in some cases avoid, arthritis is to maintain physical strength and flexibility while keeping weight at a healthy level. Additionally, yoga promotes a greater range-of-motion, allowing practitioners to typically maintain greater levels of mobility.
- Back Pain – The vast majority of adults will experience back pain at some point. For some it may be occasional and mild, for others it can be debilitating and life-altering. In either case, back pain, like many ailments, tends to get worse with age. One of the greatest assets in the fight against back pain is a strong core. In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that through core strengthening, yoga offers greater relief from back pain than typical stretching.
- Heart Health – With its fluid movements and deep, controlled breathing, yoga has a well-known positive impact on stress. As many now realize, stress is a key factor in a number of cardiovascular ailments including, heart attack and high blood pressure. With regular practice of yoga, these risks may be reduced.
- Physical Appearance – Feeling younger can largely be tied to physical appearance. When we look better, we feel better. Yoga helps keep the body lean and toned. It improves posture, and even reduces inflammation throughout the body, promoting healthier, glowing skin.
In 2010, researchers put yoga to the test against traditional aerobic exercise in a number of categories. The takeaways were astounding. Yoga was deemed more effective for lowering stress, improving flexibility, strength, balance and energy levels, and easing pain, particularly in seniors. It truly is one of the most effective means we have to combat aging and improve overall health.
In Gastonia, SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers is pleased to work with a number of highly qualified instructors in order to bring regular yoga classes to our patrons. To learn more about this offering, click here, or call our office at (704) 810-0448.