Yoga – True or False

Pain Relief can be achieved through the practice of Yoga: TRUE Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), and or meditation have reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.Yoga is only for Flexible People: FALSE To the contrary, Yoga has greater benefits for those who are inflexible and in need of improving muscle length and joint range of motion. If proper instruction is given, those needing to improve flexibility will see improvements within a few weeks to a month. Some individuals with greater flexibility often need yoga to improve muscular strength and balance and overall body alignment. Yoga improves posture and muscle symmetry which improves sports performance as well as the tasks of everyday living.Yoga Improves the function and quality of Breathing: TRUE Pranayama, the Sanskrit term for deep breathing, helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body. Fire Breathing, a quicker yogic breathing utilized in flow or vinyasa yoga, improves breath control, diaphragm strength and clarity of the mind.

Yoga does not improve abdominal strength like Pilates does: FALSE Yoga strengthens every muscle in the body, particularly the core as every standing pose focuses on using the core for stabilization. Arms, legs, shoulders, neck and back muscles are also strengthened during many of the traditional Yoga poses. Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Programming, was a Yoga student and used traditional yoga moves as a foundation for developing his own technique which we now know as Pilates.

Yoga helps control weight: TRUE Yoga focuses on relaxing the nervous tensions within the body that often cause overeating. The Yoga diet is a healthy whole foods diet that is free from pesticides, excess salts and other additives which often trigger the body to hold onto water and toxins that can make it harder for the body to break down fat. Cortisol, a hormone that the body produces more of during stressful times, is often referred to when discussing “belly fat”. By reducing “cortisol” one may reduce overall fat as well as the excess fat around the midsection.

Yoga can help with cold hands and feet: TRUE Yoga improves overall circulation by improving oxygen flow to the entire body. Inversion poses, even basic assisted inversion, relaxes the heart muscle and allows blood, often pooled in the legs, to easily flow back to the heart. Regular inversion practice can improve varicose veins, complexion of the skin, and warmer hands and feet.

Yoga Reduces Stress: TRUE By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.

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