Monday, December 14, 2009

Benefits of Yoga 2

Here are even more reasons to get into a yoga class. More from the Yoga Journal’s Yoga for Beginners article “Count on Yoga”.

Joints- Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected cartilage can eventually wear out like worn-out brake pads, exposing the underlying bone.

Spine- Spinal disks- the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves- crave movement. That’s the only way they get their nutrients. If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you’ll help keep your disks supple.

Bones- It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, Like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, helps strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability to lower levels of stress hormone cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.

Why not increase your joint, spinal and bone health? Dive into a local yoga class and experience it for yourself.

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