Is Yoga Right For You?
There is no denying that yoga has grown in popularity in the past decades. The low impact, meditative practice is appealing to people of all ages due in large part to the numerous physical and psychological benefits.
Yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago and evolved from the teaching the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action and wisdom. The practice of yoga has only become popular in North America starting in the 1980’s. Since, many have studied the potential benefits of yoga on the human body. With respect to your physical health, yoga has been shown to improve flexibility, balance, muscle strength, and, in some styles of yoga, cardiovascular endurance. Also, yoga is often recommended by healthcare providers to help reduce anxiety and depression, improve concentration and even sleep quality.
Depending on the type of yoga performed, the focus of the practice may vary, and the key is finding the right combination for you and your goals. For example, Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga largely focuses on physical postures (“asanas”) and most commonly referred as “yoga”. Hatha is slower pace with attention paid on breathing practices. Another common practice is Bikram yoga which consists of 26 different poses practiced in heated room. There are several types of practice, and some more appropriate for you. Time to explore!
More so, the practice of yoga has also emerged as an effective and safe strategy to help manage spinal disorders, like low back pain. In fact, in 2016 the World Spine Care (WSC) organization implemented their Yoga Project (http://www.worldspinecare.org/community-programs/yoga-project/). The aim is to provide access to practices of yoga as a tool for active self-care and pain management for everyone and everywhere. In absence of care, yoga has been found to be effective in the prevention and manage of spinal and musculoskeletal disorders – and an inexpensive approach to help to alleviate the burden of spinal disorders, notably in underserved areas.
As with any new form of exercise, it is important to consult a health care professional prior to beginning. It is also a great idea to call the yoga studio you plan to attend and ask for a description of their classes and advice on which one is best suited for your fitness level and interests. Regardless of which style of yoga you decide on, the benefits on your health and happiness are bound to develop and multiply. Talk to your chiropractor about what might be best for you!