Are you looking for a way to release the physical and mental stresses of daily life? Try twisting to unwind.
Yoga provides balance in many ways. The stretching and twisting of a meditative Yoga class is a very calming experience. With regular Yoga practice, we gain optimal body awareness through deep focus on breathing and posture. We also develop the postural balance that's oh so important for avoiding injury, both now and as we age. Even better, experts say, twisting and turning the spine during Yoga classes reverses the signs of aging.
A recent ACE Fitness article by Beth Shaw, founder of YogaFit, talks about how Yoga is effective for improving posture because it massages the skeletal system, which supports bone mass and growth, while reducing stress on the supporting muscles and tendons.
Twisting poses keep the spine young by increasing circulation to the discs. When practiced mindfully, twists also reveal muscular imbalances that accumulate from everyday repetitive tasks. Be aware of which muscles or side of the spine is tighter than the other side during each pose. Spend extra time there.
After a long day of one meeting after another, or rushing through non-stop activities for eight hours straight, de-stress and realign with Yoga.
As with all forms of Yoga, don’t overdo the poses or compete with others in the class. Take it easy and enjoy yourself. Focus inward. Go at your own pace. Listen to your body. Let your body guide you through the poses. Breathe and simply do your best – what ever it may be today. Now is all that’s important.
There are many types of Yoga. Experiment and experience several to find the Yoga class that’s just right for you. The most restorative and ancient versions include:
- Ananda Yoga classes focus on proper body alignment and controlled breathing using gentle postures designed to move the energy up to the brain and prepare the body for meditation
- Vinyasa focuses on coordination of breath and movement and is a very physically active form of yoga
- Kundalini practice concentrates on awakening the energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upward. In addition to postures, a typical class will also include chanting, meditation, and breathing exercises
- Hatha is an easy-to-learn basic form of yoga and is the foundation of all Yoga styles. It has become very popular in America as source of exercise and stress management. The ideal way to practice the Hatha Yoga poses is to approach the practice session in a calm, meditative mood. Sit quietly for a few moments, and then begin the series, slowly, with control and grace, being inwardly aware as the body performs the various poses selected for the practice session. Do not overdo the asanas or try to compete with others. Take it easy and enjoy.
To find more information about which form of Yoga may be right for you, read Yoga Journal, and begin your practice with the fun little Yoga Bliss book.
Browse the ACE GETFIT website for more exercise tips, and check back often to read my blog.