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John Hopkins: 9 Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is an incredible way to keep healthy, stay in prime shape and can help with mental and physical illness. We at Ursa Nova are big fans of yoga as it helps us to stay nimble, lower our stress and helps with our regular morning exercises. 

Here are some 9 Benefits of Yoga from John Hopkins Medicine: 

1. Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility.
Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.

(This is crucial for those trying to build strength for sports or other activities). 


Try it: Tree Pose
Balance on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee (but never on the knee) at a right angle. Try to focus on one spot in front of you, while you balance for one minute.

2. Yoga helps with back pain relief.
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.

(Our team members are golfers and suffer with back pain. Yoga as helped them with recovery)


Try it: Cat-Cow Pose
Get on all fours, placing your palms underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. First, inhale, as you let your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then, exhale, as you draw your navel toward your spine, arching your spine like a cat stretching.

3. Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms.
Gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomfort of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis, according to a Johns Hopkins review of 11 recent studies.

(Our older parents suffer from arthritis and Yoga as helped them stretch and relieve pain).


4. Yoga benefits heart health.
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.

Try it: Downward Dog Pose
Get on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.

5. Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better.
Research shows that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

(Any form of exericise and stretching will help you relax and sleep better!)


Try It: Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
Sit with your left side against a wall, then gently turn right and lift your legs up to rest against the wall, keeping your back on the floor and your sitting bones close to the wall. You can remain in this position for 5 to 15 minutes.

6. Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods.
You may feel increased mental and physical energy, a boost in alertness and enthusiasm, and fewer negative feelings after getting into a routine of practicing yoga.

 

(Yoga can help with stress management and that can help you focus on your goals). 


7. Yoga helps you manage stress.
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.

(When you exercise, you start building better habits like healthy eating to support your routine, helping with stress management and other benefits). 


Try It: Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Lie down with your limbs gently stretched out, away from the body, with your palms facing up. Try to clear your mind while breathing deeply. You can hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

8. Yoga connects you with a supportive community.
Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during one-on-one sessions loneliness is reduced as one is acknowledged as a unique individual, being listened to and participating in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.

(Yoga is great way to meet likeminded people!!)


9. Yoga promotes better self-care.
Scientific Research on Yoga Benefits
The U.S. military, the National Institutes of Health and other large organizations are listening to — and incorporating — scientific validation of yoga’s value in health care.

(Yoga and exercise helps you live a better life- so try and get started today!)


Numerous studies show yoga’s benefits in arthritis, osteopenia, balance issues, oncology, women’s health, chronic pain and other specialties.

Source: John Hopkins

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