The Courts Fitness and Enrichment Program does Yoga before every outing into their community. This is to center our friends before exploring new places and making new friendships in their community.
What are the benefits of doing yoga?
Regular yoga practice helps to reduce stress responses in your body, according to a study in the 2010 issue of “Psychosomatic Medicine.” Reducing the inflammatory response to stressors on your body will help reduce your chance of stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Meditation is also an effective stress reducer that is used to help reduce anxiety, panic disorders and agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder.
Western society is plagued by sedentary jobs where workers sit most of the day. This leads to reduced muscle mass, fitness and flexibility. In addition, office work increases neck and shoulder strain from hunching over in front of a computer all day. Yoga poses focus on stretching and lengthening the muscles. Increased flexibility will help you with daily movements such lifting and bending, while improving sports performance. Many athletes incorporate yoga into their workout schedules to improve or maintain flexibility.
Both yoga and meditation improve mental focus and provide a general feeling of well-being. Many yoga disciplines are based around an upbeat theme. For example, Anusara yoga’s philosophy looks for the good in all things and is created for an uplifting experience focused on the celebration of the heart. A 2012 control study published in “Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine” found yoga participants happy, peaceful and upbeat in contrast to the control group who had a decrease in general well-being. Meditation provides an emotional boost through deep relaxation, and it can be done anywhere. You can give yourself an emotional boost by taking a 10-minute meditation break right at your desk. Just simply shut your eyes, focus on relaxing your muscles and practice deep breathing.
Studies suggest that practicing yoga improves fitness and body awareness, leading to better eating habits. This in turn leads to increased self-esteem and the desire to take care of your body. Practicing meditation or yoga is a behavior modification technique that can help you improve your overall fitness.
Reducing your stress level, eating healthier and getting more exercise can only lead to better health. Modern life is full of stressful situations, fatigue from long hours and little sleep, allergies, anxiety disorders and a long list of stress-related diseases. Adding yoga or meditation to your life will improve the quality and possibly the quantity of your life. Improved health means you can participate in more physical activities and just feel better in the things you do daily.
by Caroline Thompson