Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice for Mind and Body


 Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice for Mind and Body

Yoga, one of the most popular types of exercise in America today, has been around for thousands of years. Yoga is a series of poses that are performed with attention to posture, breathing and awareness. It is practiced by millions worldwide and can benefit virtually everyone - those who are healthy adults as well as people with different physical or medical conditions. But the idea that yoga offers health benefits can't be said enough!

As someone who practices yoga daily for general wellness purposes, I know there's nothing like it in terms of stress relief and mental peace. Every time I go to practice, I feel energized afterwards and ready to tackle any task at hand - whether it's work or my family duties. And its benefits go beyond that! Yoga provides not only stress relief but also a boost in energy and vitality. Plus, it helps with weight loss, fights heart disease, boosts immunity, helps you sleep better and more.

Currently I practice yoga at home by myself (I love this DVD) or at a studio (I love this DVD). But I wanted to know...Is there really a different between these two? Are the benefits of yoga really the same whether you are practicing at home or in a studio?

Hence, I asked Michael Reed Gach, D.C., cocreator of the Yoga Health Foundation to share his expertise on this topic. I am happy to present his expert opinion on this matter!

Dr. Gach has been practicing yoga since 1966 and is the former medical director of the Ananda Meditation Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York, where he treated thousands of patients for more than 25 years. He received his doctorate of Chiropractic from the Atlantic College of Chiropractic in 1974, and has been practicing for more than 40 years.

Dr. Gach's favorite yoga pose is Susano, which he does up to 10 times in a day! In this article, he shares why it's so important for us to incorporate yoga and breath work into our daily lives! For more information about Dr. Gach and his practice, please click here .

Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice [ARTICLE END]
Dr. Michael Reed Gach:
In my experience, I have found that yoga is most effective and beneficial when practiced on a regular basis. This is true whether you practice at home or in a studio. When practiced regularly, the benefits of yoga are cumulative. The more you do it, the greater the results!

Yoga provides a connection between your mind and body, enabling you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. It also helps improve flexibility and posture as well as strengthen your muscles. But yoga is about so much more than strength building. It is a practice that cultivates your awareness and capacity to attend to your body and breath.

The benefits of yoga and mind/body therapies are dependent on the regularity of the practice, not so much the form of the practice (yoga at home or at a studio). The mind/body practices that have now been scientifically validated include Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, meditation, hypnosis and biofeedback. When practiced regularly as part of life, these therapies have profound positive effect on health and longevity.

Yoga invites you to be present in your body and listen to what it is telling you, moment to moment. Yoga invites you to tune into your breathing and experience what happens to your breath when you do yoga postures or hold postures with awareness.

When you practice yoga, it helps you learn how to be present in the moment, instead of being lost in your thoughts. This leads to less stress and worry because you stop thinking about all the things that are on your mind and start to experience life in the moment as it happens. One of my favorite things about doing yoga is that I can do it anywhere, anytime. I can practice yoga at home or while vacationing on a tropical island.

Many of the mind/body therapies can be done away from home. Tai Chi, Qi Gong and acupuncture are all forms of moving meditation that you can do anywhere. Meditation involves focusing on your breath and bringing more mindfulness to every moment of your day. It is a method for practicing self-regulation, self-healing and listening to your body.

There are now many innovative mind/body therapies that have been scientifically validated by clinical studies as effective mind/body therapies for certain conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and other chronic medical issues. These studies documented the benefits of these therapies on health conditions and longevity in healthy subjects versus a control group that did not receive the therapy (i.e., sham or fake therapy). These studies showed that the mind/body therapies, in particular meditation, yoga and Tai Chi, have a positive effect on health and longevity.

The mind/body therapies are practiced with attention to posture, breathing and awareness. The focus is not on memorization of specific postures or procedures. The focus is on awareness in each present moment of your life. There is an emphasis on compassion in offering care to self so that you experience more joy and happiness.

By practicing yoga regularly, you will experience less stress and be able to stretch your connection to body as well as your mind. This is valuable tool for improving your health by cultivating greater awareness of what you are feeling and how you feel it.

See also: Yoga vs Tai Chi – Which is Better? and Yoga and Meditation – My Favorite Hacks!

Cover image credit: Donte Divenere via Flickr Creative Commons. Image cropped.

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Conclusion [ARTICLE END]

Thanks so much for reading this entire article! I hope you can enjoy these mind/body therapies in your daily life as much as I have.

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