While the medical field has made substantial investments in developing new, ground-breaking pharmaceuticals designed to support those on a path to health and wellness, in recent years, successful wellness plans have started to incorporate more holistic programs, such as yoga, to offer more self-guided options for wellness. Using the intuitive and meditative techniques of yoga, you can learn to become more proactive and less reactive to the stresses of everyday life with simple relaxation tools.
In yoga, it’s important to pay attention to your breathing, which also helps you relax. Yoga stretches your muscles and body while relaxing the mind.
Of course, as with many types of exercise, there are many types of yoga. In fact, some estimates indicate there are more than 100 types of yoga. Many are gentle and soothing. Others are much more intense and can include the use of props such as blocks and chairs. There’s even Bikram yoga, known as “hot yoga” that is practiced in a heated room with high temperatures.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Research suggests that yoga may:
- Help you lose weight if you are currently overweight or obese.
- Help you quit smoking
- Improve your general mental health by relieving stress while simultaneously supporting good health habits, sleep, and balance.
- Relieve lower back pain and neck pain
- May help relieve inflammation
- Help you manage anxiety or depression-like symptoms. However, it is essential to note that yoga has not been shown to help manage anxiety disorders, clinical depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Why can Yoga be such a powerful part of your Wellness Plan?
- It’s spiritually agnostic. Yoga is not a religion and doesn’t force any belief system upon those that choose to practice. Through a series of guided, coordinated movements, participants are solely asked to regain a sense of mindfulness.
- It’s portable. With yoga, once you’ve learned the basics, you can become more self-reliant using those tools on your own. Traveling out of town? You can still commit to a routine of downward dogs and sun salutations in your hotel room while on a business or recreational trip.
- It’s You. Most successful wellness plans incorporate a variety of therapeutic treatments and therapies, including behavioral and clinical measures. Yoga offers a unique path to physical and mental recovery in that it helps to tap into the strength and resources that already reside within you.
Recent studies show that approximately 55 million people are practicing yoga. Worldwide, yoga is considered among the 10 most popular fitness activities in the world.