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10 Benefits of Yoga

By Danielle Rottenberg, Ayurvedic Practitioner & Bodyworker

 

1. Prevents Pains & Aches
As yoga improves flexibility and strength it also helps in preventing back pains and joint pains that often occur from long periods of sitting or driving. A daily yoga practice (even just 20 minutes a day) can help to relieve spinal tightness and contracted muscles in hamstrings and hip flexors. So do a little bit of yoga everyday to help keep the aches and pains away!

2. Mental Peace
Yoga’s overall emphasis on breathing and other balancing asanas help in harmonizing both sides of the brain. This also helps with decision making and having more clarity to complete our daily tasks. By practicing yoga, you can find a state of balance between your thinking brain and your creative brain. Sounds like a great way to achieve some peace!

 3. Strength
As you can imagine by doing plank poses, downward facing dogs, standing and balancing poses, we are aquiring strength in various muscles. But do you realize that with adding twists, breath work, inversions and forward folds you are strengthing your immune system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system and reproductive system. Not bad eh?

4. Good Circulation
A combination of breathing techniques and yoga poses can improve proper blood circulation in your body. With an increase in blood circulation you will feel more energized, experience more mental clarity, have healthier organs and glowing skin.

5. Improves Balance
As we age, we can begin to experience poor posture and with that, our balance suffers. Without improving our core strength through yoga and other types of exercises we are more susceptible to falls, fractures and poor back health. Yoga can help you regain this lost balance and core control.

6. Stress Reduction
Yoga helps in relieving stress. When you practice yoga after a hectic day, you will notice that all (or most) of your stress will melt away. So after a long day at the office de-stress with yoga. Better yet, start your day with yoga and watch the stress just bounce off of you as if you have superman or superwoman powers.

7. Energy
Yoga asanas, breath work or (pranayama) are just a few examples of how to activate and balance your energy pathways. By using these tools you can gain the vitality and power you need to maximize your potential. Who wouldn’t want that?

8. Living with Greater Awareness
The mind is constantly involved in activity – thoughts of the past or worrying about the future. These thoughts leave you unable to be present, to truly be in the moment, yoga  can help! By simply being aware of this wayward mind, we can help reduce stress or worry by bringing consciousness to the breath.  Yoga, meditation and pranayama help create that awareness and bring the mind back to the present moment, because really being present is the greatest gift we can have.

9. Yoga Will Help You Lose Weight

Well you may not burn thousands of calories in a yoga class but what yoga does do is change your mind: It changes the way you approach life, your body image, and eating. Yoga brings you a sense of consciousness that allows you to become more aware of what you are eating and how you are eating.

10. Healing
The power of Yoga to heal ailments and cure diseases is becoming more and more an integral part of mainstream medical practice and treatment methods.  Even Western Medicine is beginning to see the power that yoga can have on those experiencing dis-ease. This ability of Yoga to heal also promotes longevity from the inside, out.

 

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Beyonce, Shame On Your Beautiful Self

By Rebecca Word, ND

So, I’m on the elliptical at Cheshire Fitness Center on the morning of December 11…you’ll get the irony of this when I rant for a minute…and I see a blurb run across the news channel. “Beyonce signs 50 million dollar contract with Pepsi.” She will be the official face of Pepsi, as in on the can, in the commercials, glamorizing the heck out of it. I think my mouth literally dropped open momentarily. We’re talking about an insanely wealthy woman here prostituting (sorry is that harsh?), herself, for more bucks to a company that is part of an industry ruining the health of soda guzzlers worldwide.

OK, adults can make decisions for themselves (can we?), but kids are a vulnerable audience. Beyonce is a role model for millions of young kids and teens. Can we all say it together, “Childhood obesity epidemic…childhood diabetes epidemic?” Nuff said. Shame on you, Beyonce, shame on your beautiful self.