January 31, 2013 Comments Off on Yoga!

by Amy Lam

Are you in need of a pick-me-up? Do you suffer from aches and pains? Do you have trouble sleeping at night?
If you said “yes” to any of the previous questions above, it may be time to consider adding a little yoga to your life! The words “yoga” means “union” or “unite” in Sanskrit, which is the language in ancient India. This definition proves to be fitting because the main benefit of practicing yoga is to cleanse the mind, body and spirit of all the built up problems and stress caused by life. Yoga targets both mental and physical health. There are various types of yoga, but practicing yoga requires one to situate themselves in various positions, called asanas. Some people have even reported a decrease in anxiety, a sharper mind and sleeping better at night as benefits resulting from the practice of yoga. According to a study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital, one hour of yoga raises the level of the chemical GABA in the brain by 27 percent. Low levels of this chemical are linked to depression.
The physical benefits of yoga include an increase in flexibility and strength. Different poses help to stretch muscles and joints that are not used every day. Focusing your body weight in different positions help to gradually strengthen you, and these physical benefits may lead to preventing the muscles in your body from becoming stiff from long hours at work.
Yoga also addresses your mental health. The deep focus needed to complete each pose will bring a sense of mental calmness because you will not be concentrated on the deadline you need to meet at work or that huge math test you need to take tomorrow morning. You can postpone thinking about your next mortgage payment and instead take ten minutes to clear your head.
If you’re interested in signing up for a yoga class, I suggest calling your local yoga studio for more information!

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