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Yoga Could Be Your Exercise & Innercise Solution

Posted 05-14-2013 at 10:12 AM by ChristaIB
Updated 10-17-2013 at 10:57 AM by ChristaIB

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India 5,000 years ago. The word yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India.

Yoga is different from traditional exercise in that it is also "innercise." Yoga is good for your body, but also can improve things for your inner self by relaxing you and reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise requires working your body until your muscles are tired and exhaustion sets in. Innercise uses breathing and relaxing positions, or poses, to help your mind relax and your body restore energy while it builds strength. The word for a yoga pose or posture is "asana," and it actually means "comfortably held pose."

There are many different types or styles of yoga. The five most popular types of yoga are Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Bikram. Some types are for strength and motion; some are purely for relaxation; some rely more on specific breathing techniques; and others focus on meditation. Explore the different types of yoga to find the one that is the best match for you and your needs.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga offers many benefits for everyone, though the benefits will vary depending on which type of yoga you practice. Some of the benefits include:
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Greater self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improved range of motion
  • Better mental concentration
  • Increased strength
  • Immune system stimulation
  • Pain control
  • Improved circulation
  • Mental clarity and calmness
  • Higher energy
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved posture
  • Aids learning and memory

How Yoga Works

Yoga poses, or asanas, stretch your muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. the underlying cause of muscle stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue is primarily lactic acid. Asanas help release the built-up lactic acid in your muscles, allowing for greater flexibility and joint lubrication. For most people, a 35 percent overall improvement in flexibility is experienced after eight weeks of consistent yoga participation.

How Yoga Helps

Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety and can improve the symptoms associated with a variety of medical conditions, including:
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain


Virtually everyone can benefit from practicing some type of yoga -- either for exercise, innercise, or both.

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