Yoga: A Moving Meditation

Most people are aware of the potential health benefits, physical as well as mental, that exercise can provide. Therefore, many individuals have incorporated workouts into their schedules; their daily routines may involve cycling, walking, or lifting weights. A different type of exercise, the practice of yoga, might be less familiar. Yoga can, however, offer health benefits to those who make it a part of their lifestyle.

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What is Yoga?

Yoga is an integrative, mind-body practice; its Sanskrit root means to join, connect, or balance. The Bhagwad Gita, a classical text on yoga, explains that “yoga is equanimity of mind in success and failure.” Although yoga exists in various forms or styles, they all share the general core components of controlled breathing, a series of physical poses or postures, and meditation or relaxation. Recognized as a “moving meditation” in Eastern cultures, yoga can complement a person’s regular workout routine.       

Are There Health Benefits?

People can experience improved fitness, including better flexibility, balance, strength, and range of motion. Individuals may also feel that their levels of anxiety and stress have decreased while their overall mood and sense of well-being have been enhanced. Some people find that when symptoms of anxiety and depression occur, they are more capable of managing these symptoms.

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Yoga may assist in the prevention of various chronic conditions; risk factors for high blood pressure and heart disease may be reduced. Furthermore, for those individuals who have chronic conditions of asthma, insomnia, arthritis, pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), yoga might help in relieving their symptoms.

Who Can Participate?

As people age, increases in health concerns often follow, but age is not a barrier to practicing yoga. In an effort to encourage older adults to participate, some yoga studios offer senior discounts yoga Bainbridge Island WA.

While yoga is generally regarded as safe for most individuals, there are some precautions. Those with a medical condition should consult with a doctor before beginning yoga. As well, it is important to learn yoga from a trained professional and to listen to the body as it engages in this moving meditation.

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