Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King Jr.
“I noticed after two classes, I’m already standing up straighter,” said a new student at Heart of the Village Yoga in Manchester, Vermont.
People begin to practice yoga for varying reasons. Some are searching for improved physical well-being and others for emotional benefits such as stress reduction.
After experiencing a Yoga Nidra session, Russell Dean, MS, LMHC, said, “I haven’t felt that relaxed since the last time I had anesthesia.” Dean is a Vietnam veteran with back injuries.
Research shows that yoga helps both the mind and body. It helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases. In addition, yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength, stamina, circulation, posture, concentration and creativity, reduces stress and tension, boosts self esteem, lowers fat, stimulates the immune system and creates a sense of well-being and calm.
While scientific research on yoga’s health benefits is still young, writes Carolyn Gregoire in (“How Yoga Changes Your Body – Starting the Day you Begin” Huffington Post, October, 2013), the “How Yoga Transforms Your Body” (Huffington Post, October, 2013) infographic below shows what we know so far about its potential effects on the body.
Yoga is a life-long practice. You can begin at any age and benefit from day one. “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory,” said yoga master Pattabhi Jois. Often, the hardest part is showing up to practice yoga. Once you make time for yourself and begin, the benefits are yours.
By Jo Kirsch ©2014