Saturday, January 2, 2010
Benefits of Yoga 5
Happy New Year! Let's ring in the new year with more wonderful yoga benefits from Yoga Journal's "Yoga for Beginners"
Weight-Move more, eat less- that's the adage of many a dieter. Yoga can help on both fronts. A regular practices gets you moving and burns calories, and the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. You may also become a more conscious eater. (Note: See my Yoga for Weight Loss Blog)
Sugar -Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and boosts HDL ("good") cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways; by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down , and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
System- Yoga encourages you to relax, and slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decrease blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs-comprising what Herbert Benson, MD, calls the relaxation response.
Space- Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing where it is in space) and improves balance. People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain. Better balance could mean fewer falls. For the elderly, this translates into more independence and delayed admission to nursing home or never entering one at all.
Give Yoga a chance this year and gain some of these wonderful benefits.