Ancient Indian Practice Brings Hopes to Millions of Americans for Improved Quality Of Life

Yoga has been practiced in India for the past 5,000 years and many people have sought enlightenment and happiness. While some people focus on the spiritual element, others use the various postures and styles of yoga to increase flexibility and become fit. Many of the health disorders are solved when yoga is practiced correctly.

Yoga as practiced in the West

Many Americans are now adopting the yogic way of exercising as they find immense benefits in every area long term as well as short-term. Right from actors to athletes and judges, people rush to practice various forms of yoga and reap the benefits of soldering a union between their mind and body. The number of Americans who have boarded this wagon amounts to nearly fifteen million as against half the number that initially decided to try it out.

Multifarious benefits of practicing yoga

  1. Regular practice of different physical postures improves cognitive function while boosting focus and memory.
  2. Reduces stress levels by lessening the activity of proteins. A recent study published by the University of California, Los Angeles last year indicates that yoga helps lower inflammation as a result.
  3. The gene expression in immune cells can also be altered
  4. Become more flexible when you start performing different postures. Your strength also increases and body fat decreases
  5. Chronic back and neck pain reduces with regular yoga practice.
  6. Sexual functioning is improved especially in women
  7. Yoga practitioners notice an improved lung capacity as they learn how to take deep breaths and the art of exhaling and inhaling
  8. Patients suffering from diabetes find that their blood sugar levels remain steady
  9. People suffering from anxiety and stress feel less depressed when they work out
  10. Older adults find that with regular yoga, they improve their sense of balance..

Role of yoga in today’s world

Yoga plays a supporting role to modern medicine and is an excellent accompaniment to other fitness exercise programs. There is evidence that people suffering from heart diseases, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease also benefit when they practice yoga. While the ‘asanas’ or postures are slow they are not challenging or cause pain to individuals. What is important is that you should be guided by a good yoga teacher who helps you through the various postures and the deep breathing techniques.

Learning through books and trying yoga on your own will not give you the same benefits as when you are guided by an experienced teacher. Take time off and learn to relax as you go through the motions.

Enjoy the sessions by selecting the right time of the day when you can totally switch off from the rest of the world. Take a warm shower and wear clothes that will help you stretch. Play some relaxing music and use aromatherapy to introduce a calm ambiance. Go through the various postures and breathe deeply. You will experience tranquility and peace and when you are through you will feel energized and refreshed.


Finding Ways to Incorporate a Strict Fitness Regime and Lead a Healthy Life

Setting aside time in the day to work out requires management skills especially if you are a working woman. Even though we try to balance our multiple roles as spouse, parent, worker and volunteer, we often find very little time to take care of our own needs. Think creatively and try to set up a plan that allows you to fit in some exercises every day.

Cultivate some healthy lifestyle habits that include diet and exercise if you work from home in front of a computer. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.

Things that you can do

  1. Use the stairs rather than the elevator.
  2. Make sure to get up after 30 minutes and walk around. This will also prevent chronic back pain that is one of the problems that can occur when sitting for a long period of time.
  3. When you are at home, try to mop or sweep as it has been found that you can burn a lot of calories when you perform these mundane chores which works both ways.
  4. When your family is relaxed around the television, try to do some Pilates or yoga. If you are engrossed in a program, then try performing some exercises during each commercial.
  5. Put on some music and dance your cares away. You can do this alone or ask your children to accompany you.
  6. Get involved in activities such as digging the garden or caring for plants. This is not only therapeutic but you will lose some of those excess calories.
  7. Try meditation and yoga when the rest of the family is sleeping. This is a great way to unwind and de-stress at the beginning or end of the day.
  8. Drink plenty of water in the day

Incorporating exercises when performing multiple chores

Researchers recommend at least 15 minutes of brisk walking, if not running, every day to increase energy levels and speed up metabolism.

  1. If you have enthusiastic children, shoot baskets or run around in the back yard with them.
  2. Ideally you should aim for 30 minutes of cardio but if that is not possible try to work in 15 minutes.
  3. If you have to take your child in a stroller for a walk, try to stop now and then and do some lunges or run in place.
  4. If you ride the bus home, try to get off one stop before and walk the rest of the way home
  5. Try to join a gym in your locality or neighborhood as you will be motivated when you see others exercising around you.

People who lead sedentary lives are at high risk of getting types of cancers, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Those who suffer from hypertension should try to perform some isometric exercises as it can reduce the blood pressure levels significantly.

Remember – “where there’s a will there is way” – try not to take the easy way out as the repercussions can be costly.