Sure it’s a wonderful form of exercise that gives you a sixty-minute break from your hectic daily life, but have you ever really thought about yoga as a part of your overall health and wellness program? Well, researchers have been thinking about it quite seriously, and in a recent article provided by Harvard Health Publications they tell us about the physical and mental benefits of a yoga practice.
Body Image, Mindfulness & Mental Health
According to the research, practicing yoga can help you adopt a better self-image of your body, it can help you become a mindful eater, it can help increase weight loss, it can help boost your physical fitness, and it can help improve cardiovascular health.
Having a healthy body image comes from inner awareness, which yoga can help with by focusing on your body’s ability and not its appearance. This focus, or mindfulness, can also extend to your eating habits, and as the researchers point out, can help correct unhealthy behaviors like eating when full, eating in response to the sight or smells of food, eating when sad or stressed, and eating when distracted by other things. Mindful eating can lead to a healthier, happier relationship with food and eating, resulting in weight loss and improved overall health.
Yoga can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also play a part in increasing strength, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory fitness, including lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin dependent diabetes.
Yoga isn’t just for moms, dancers, or athletes. Because there are many different types of yoga, anyone can practice yoga – and that goes for kids as well. They deal with life stressors like peer pressure, school work and overstimulation just as adults do. In addition to the benefits sited by Harvard Health Publications, yoga offers other benefits that:
- Encourage positive thinking
- Increases strength and flexibility
- Improves balance and coordination
- Develops concentration
- Boosts self-esteem
- Fosters social interaction
Are you ready to see what yoga can do for you?
LHAA offers several types of therapeutic yoga classes that focus on core strength, balance, flexibility, and a holistic mind and body approach to health and wellness. Take a look at our yoga class calendar for each month and see what type of class you’re drawn too!
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