As a yoga guide I am often asked “What are the benefits of yoga?” The answer is both simple and complex. Most situations call for a laundry list of sorts and others invite more in-depth explanations. The purpose of this blog series will answer some questions and raise others, hopefully encouraging the reader to conduct deeper research into the topic as the journey towards healthy living begins or continues. Resistant Immune System…A Yoga Benefit Part 2…
All moderate exercise, 30 to 60 minutes, improves the function of the circulatory and lymphatic system. Active and strong functioning systems encourage and enhances the transfer of nutrients and oxygen to cells. Know that excessive exercise has proven to have the opposite effect on the immune system, as the immune system then has to work to repair strained, injured and overworked tissue. It is important to find the right length of time per workout and the number of work outs per week that good for you.
The mind body practice of yoga teaches the practitioner how to pay attention the body as it changes. To acknowledge how the body is feeling day to day and moment to moment. To recognize how it has been affected by life’s activities and stress. And fashion that day's practice based on this in tune self-assessment. Therefore, the body conscious yoga practitioners have the additional benefit of being better attuned to their body. This connection allows the practitioner to pay attention changes in the body early on, encouraging them to take action more quickly preventing injury, sickness or disease to go untreated.
I began practicing yoga regularly about ten years ago. I have always chosen careers that placed me in harm’s way of adult and children’s germs. When the whole office went down because of the latest virus I was left standing. I take multivitamins and pay attention to what I eat. But I am not a self-proclaimed super healthy eater. During the last 10 years I chose not to take the flu vaccination. Note that I in no way recommend this practice to the reader and encourage a doctor consultation before choosing not to take the vaccination, but I thought it an important fact to include in this story. I have been sick twice in ten years and attribute much of my health to being in tune with my body and taking measures to prevent injury and sickness. I sleep more when I am exhausted, acknowledge stress when it creeps up on me and change the way I approach it, I don’t fill every minute of my day with tasks, I enjoy my couch and watch my favorites shows, create time to read, wash my hands often etc.
Because I am a yoga guide I am able to lead a class that will be beneficial to me as well as the practitioners. I guide a class that includes poses that massage the internal organs to stimulate improved functioning. For example, twisting poses stimulate the abdominal organs, liver and kidneys encouraging digestion and elimination. Inversions stimulate the thyroid glands, the prostate glands and the abdominal organs and as a result digestion is improved. Forward bends help to flush mucous from the sinuses and the lungs. And, backbends and chest openers stimulate the thyroid, pituitary, and abdominals by stretching the chest and flushing the lungs. All of the above poses improves circulation, digestion and elimination. All of which keeps the immune system strong and healthy.
Before practicing I suggest that the reader research yoga and has a conversation with their doctor. In my classes I encourage attendees to inform me of any medical diagnosis they have so that I can provide modifications insuring that there is no further agitation of preexisting ailments.
I leave you with,
Meaning peace for all…
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