Good health: yoga is good for the mind and body

Christmas, summer vacation and New Year’s party; 2019 is finally here, are you ready?

It’s time to set goals for 2019 and make this our best year yet. It’s time to make a plan that creates a healthy body and a stress free mind for you and your family. Yoga is one of the best ways to help you achieve this goal. Yoga, as a way of life, is becoming more and more mainstream as people of all ages and abilities add the practice to their lives. Let’s take a look and see what yoga can do for you.

1. Improved flexibility:

Yoga gives you the range of motion to do the things you want to do so that you spend less time injuring yourself and more time having fun and going about your business.

By doing yoga regularly, you will increase the elasticity and flexibility of your body. In a 2016 study on the impact of yoga on male college athletes, it was found that “10 weeks of yoga practice improved the flexibility of actively training athletes, unlike warm-up stretches.” The study’s authors concluded “that practicing yoga as part of traditional training methods improves the components of physical fitness that are essential components of athletic performance.”

The best part about adding yoga to your life is that you don’t have to be an athlete to feel its effects on a range of motion. Yoga is for everyone and it is never too late to start. By practicing yoga regularly, you will help create a flexible body, so you can prevent those insignificant injuries and feel refreshed and energized.

2. A calm mind:

Yoga has many physical effects, but unlike other forms of exercise, yoga is very much about exercising the mind and helping to keep it calm. Stress is a major problem and yoga is well suited to help relieve stress.

By doing yoga poses, focusing on your breathing, being in the present moment, and adding a short meditation practice, you can remove stress from your life. In a 2018 study in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, the authors concluded that “yoga has an effective role in reducing stress, anxiety and depression [and] this [it] can be considered as a complementary medicine “to medical treatment, thus reducing the“ medical cost per treatment by reducing the use of drugs. ”Yoga will give you the mental advantage of making clear and calm decisions so that stress and l anxiety are stopped before they even begin.

3. For overall health:

Yoga will help you become more flexible and bring you mental clarity; it will also help improve your health and well-being. Numerous studies have shown that yoga can lower cholesterol, stop the progression of heart disease, reduce chemotherapy symptoms, fight depression, reduce chronic pain, and promote better sleep.

This is just a sample of some of the many things yoga can do to help improve your health. By developing a regular practice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, you can harness these effects in your life. In my opinion, it’s better to do 15 minutes five times a week than 60 minutes once a week. By coupling a yoga practice, along with the other things you do to stay healthy, you can unlock these effects and improve your life.

Yoga can help you reach your goals for 2019 by improving your health, increasing your strength and flexibility, and reducing symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.

All of these benefits are waiting for you to get started, so make 2019 the year in which you will set aside time to develop a regular yoga practice. It will bring a positive change in your mind and body and help make this the best year yet.

■ Tim Seutter is a firefighter, yoga teacher and director at Loft Yoga and Pilates Studio, Whangārei

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