Friday, July 2, 2010

Yoga for weight loss, stress reduction and more!

YOGA for weight loss, stress reduction and more!

Exercise to many means drudgery. Running, swimming and lifting weights have captured the hearts of the exercise addicts, but as of today only 30% of our population exercises often enough to receive health benefits. Yoga's rising popularity, though, may help encourage more people to begin taking care of their minds and bodies all at once. According to a Yoga Journal/Roper Poll, six million people currently practice Yoga and another seventeen million respondents say they are very interested in participating in this activity.

Fitness expert and video star Kathy Smith believes in totality, the power of Yoga. A practitioner for 24 years, she began using Yoga as a way to add balance and flexibility to her long distance running workouts in college. Consisting of deep breathing exercises, combined with particular poses (asanas) that are held from 25 seconds to 5 minutes each, Yoga embraces both relaxation and strengthening exercise to challenge the mind and body simultaneously. Listed below are Kathy's top eight benefits for people of any age who regularly participate in Yoga:

  • Reduction of stress and anxiety.
  • Feeling of being centered, focused.
  • Increase in muscle flexibility, decrease in lower back discomfort.
  • Increase in muscle definition, tone.
  • Reduction in injuries due to sports, exercise programs.
  • Increase in mobility as we age.
  • Better sleep patterns.
  • Increase in emotional bonding for couples.

Kathy also found some of the benefits of Yoga surprising to her. For instance, Yoga assisted in the delivery of her children, enhanced her own feeling of sensuality, helps her to stay calm in raising her children, and increases her energy levels and immune system functioning. She believes that anyone can benefit from Yoga by participating at least three days per week for 10 minutes each day. Her newest video Yoga Basics is the perfect match for the beginner.

In my book "Slow Down: The fastest way to get everything you want", Hay House, I tell the story of a top television producer who finally lost the weight he desired, after years of failed diets and exercise programs, through a 1 hour per day yoga routine!

If you are interested in any or all of the aforementioned benefits, this may be the perfect time to give Yoga a try. Open your mind to the potential that lies within this ancient practice and start enjoying the results immediately. Choose a class or video that is congruent with your current level of physical conditioning, as Yoga can be a gentle "walk in the park" or an extremely challenging form of mind/body exercise. If you are over 40 or currently have any health concerns, check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

For more information on Yoga, check out the American Yoga Association web site.

If you believe this article can help someone you know, please pass it on.
Search. Grow. Love.

love, David

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