Instead of taking another pill, starting another diet, or trying another fitness trend, there may be a more holistic and proven way to address physical and mental needs, at one’s own pace.
Yoga, according to the American Osteopathic Association, is shown to lower blood pressure, reduce insomnia, increase flexibility, muscle strength and tone, as well as improve one’s breathing, and energy, balance, metabolism. Yoga can even aid in losing weight. Yoga is unique in that it addresses multiple health problems, by combining mental practices with physical exercises that are adaptable to many levels of activity.
Yoga can be especially helpful for people that have difficulty with other sports or forms of exercise. Even if one isn’t extremely flexible, coordinated, or active, yoga is about providing adjustments, to slowly build on physical movement. On top of exercising the physical body, yoga also helps manage stress, which can affect one both physically and mentally. Stress can manifest itself physically by causing neck or back pain, difficulty sleeping, headaches and an inability to concentrate. Because stress can be difficult to handle, it may also cause sufferers to turn to drug use as a coping mechanism. Yoga as a mental practice is a potent tool, because while eliminating the physical symptoms of stress, it can help one deal with emotional trauma. This enables yoga practitioners to handle their stress healthily.
Yoga also includes meditation and breathing exercises. This can improve mental capacity by helping the user "tune in" to their internal state, by focusing on the breath and observing how the body feels. In doing that, it turns the mind away from things that may be stressful. When one focuses on their breathing, they are able to relax.
Along with calming the mind, yoga also helps maintain a proactive health approach by making one more aware of how their body feels, its capabilities, and what might be abating that. This happens through meditation. By slow-down to focus on the breath, one can observe the aches, twitches, or shortness of breath that we might not have noticed before. This self-awareness can help one pinpoint the cause and treatment of their physical ailments.
If listening to your body is something you have difficulty doing, yoga helps with that too, by forcing us to slow down and make peace with our minds, improve mental concentration, and tune into your body. This is especially important because one of the most efficient ways to treat physical or psychological maladies is to prevent them from happening. Yoga is a proactive physical and mental tool to address your health, exercise the body and find peace.
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