Some of you might have asked this question at some point in your lifetime. Others might have simply come to the conclusion, “Yoga is not for me,” without really trying it. I have been in this second group for a very long time. I considered myself more of a Pilates girl and always thought that yoga was boring and not very challenging. I guess I was wrong. I have been practicing Yoga for the past 8 months, and I have become very fond of it. It started as a New Year‘s resolution, thinking, “Let’s give it a try. I can always stop if I don’t like it,” but I am glad that I decided to try.
Sometimes we become resistant to the idea of trying something new, to the point of convincing ourselves that our possibilities are limited. What I am trying to say is that it is always important to challenge ourselves in new directions and possibilities to see what we are capable of achieving.
The first yoga classes were very challenging. Yes, you heard me right: challenging. It’s not all meditative yoga. There are different yoga practices, and many require intense exercise, keeping up with the breathing, strengthening your core, and improving your balance. Maybe you have heard some of yoga poses, such as child’s pose (a resting pose), downward facing dog (a more advanced resting pose), sun salutation, tree pose (balance), warrior (I, II, III) pose, cobra pose, etc.
You can practice yoga in the park, at the beach, by taking a class, or in the privacy of your home. The benefits of yoga are tremendous. Yoga is known to lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, improve the immune system, and more. Yoga is recommended as therapy for people with arthritis and other joint and muscular problems. At the same time, yoga helps with relaxation, concentration, and to release stress from your body. It doesn’t matter your age, your body shape, or fitness level; everyone can do it. Yoga is medicine for your body and mind.
If you are interested in reading some more information about yoga therapy there are several books available at Touro College Libraries:
- Yoga therapy : a guide to the therapeutic use of yoga and ayurveda for health and fitness (Kew Garden Hills)
- Yoga therapy for children with autism and special needs (Midwood)
- Ashtanga yoga: Practice and philosophy (ebook)
Or you can search our databases to find articles on yoga’s benefits. Here are some examples:
- Patel, Neela K, Ann H Newstead, and Robert L Ferrer. “The Effects Of Yoga On Physical Functioning And Health Related Quality Of Life In Older Adults: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.) 18.10 (2012): 902-917. MEDLINE. Web. 22 Aug. 2014.
- Diamond, Lisa. “The Benefits of Yoga in Improving Health.” Primary Health Care 22.2 (2012): 16-19. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 22 Aug. 2014.
- Kaur, Simran, Nandini Agarwal, and Rashmi Babbar. “Effectiveness of Relaxation Techniques in Reducing Stress Levels by Measuring Heart Rate Variability.” International Journal of Physiology 2.1 (2014): 26-30. ProQuest. Web. 22 Aug. 2014.
- Sharma, Manoj. “Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Approach for Stress Management: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 19.1 (2014): 59-67. ProQuest. Web. 22 Aug. 2014
Contributed by: Edlira Agalliu, Chief Librarian, Midwood