Feature at http://www.therapeuticreiki.com
By Barbara House
While many people have always thought of Yoga as some mystic Hindu practice, that image is rapidly disappearing – almost as fast as the stresses of our modern lives are increasing. The American Academy of Family Physicians has noted that stress related symptoms prompt two-thirds of the office visits to family physicians. Exercise and alternative therapies are now commonly prescribed for stress-related complaints and illness. Even a recent issue of Consumer Reports suggests Yoga for stress relief.
As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age homes. It is also being used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centers are getting stiff competition from adult education classes of community colleges, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.
There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practice for the willing student. Many of the problems suffered in modern life can be erased by following a regular yoga routine.
Reasons to practice Yoga
1. Yoga can release the tense muscles caused by hours of sitting at a desk.
Yoga differs from other forms of exercise in that it involves motions that don’t cause strain on the body. It isn’t an aerobic exercise, but it uses almost every muscle in your body. Over time, your limbs are strengthened – helping to combat the aches and pains caused by our sedentary lifestyles.
2. Mediation during Yoga can enhance concentration.
Breathing deeply can improve vitality by increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. All forms of yoga incorporate the practice of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energize and purify the body.
3. Yoga is fun an easy for children.
Yoga is great fun for children and teenagers and it’s easy for them to do, as they are already flexible. Yoga can help them retain that flexibility. It can also help to develop their self-discipline. Practicing yoga is good for developing coordination and can help to improve concentration – which many children and teens find difficult.
4. Yoga is the ideal exercise during pregnancy.
Practicing yoga can improve backache and help to lift depression. Many women who practice yoga have said that it helped to make their labor easier and shorter. The meditation side of yoga is also calming and centering during pregnancy.
5. Yoga can combat feelings of anxiety and depression.
Practicing yoga can alter your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions in particular are effective in stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins and to reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone).
Many people beginning to practice yoga as stress management may feel unsure if they are doing it right. Trust yourself and trust the process and let it develop. Keep your focus on what is happening in each moment. As stress levels in our society reach new heights, yoga can provide you with the means for handling stress, diffusing tension and increasing the quality of your life!