As a longtime yoga practitioner and instructor, I experience yoga as a pathway to awaken the mind, body, spirit and emotions and close out tension from the world. Yoga is more than a “class” or “exercise,” as it requires dedication and discipline to take charge of establishing healthy practices and building self-confidence, strength and growth. I have observed many beautiful yoga bodies and minds as they grow in dedication, striving for personal excellence in each yoga pose, initiating life-changing daily patterns. This is the essence of yoga.
Growth and regeneration involve physical and mental effort choosing a healthy lifestyle incorporating yoga into daily activities. Yoga promotes “mindfulness,” and thoughtful consideration of the benefits of a proactive lifestyle. Clinical researcher and Chairman of the School of Integrative Medicine at Takisha University in Hampson, Virginia, Dr. Dilip Sarkar says: “Those who choose to incorporate a daily yoga practice into everyday activity have effortlessly and automatically changed their eating and sleeping habits and established a more regulated lifestyle.”
Dr. Sarkar further adds, “Hypertension” (constriction of blood vessels) restricts blood flow into coronary arteries. Yoga therapy relaxes blood vessels and releases pressure.”
In order to stimulate blood flow through tissues and muscles, it is important to hold postures for several breaths or minutes. In the 2016 issue of Israel’s Medical Association Journal, a study shows that when you hold a yoga pose while deeply inhaling and exhaling, muscles contract and tension is released.
The definition of “yoga” dates back to early Indian Sanskrit texts, meaning the “union of mind and body and spirit.” Yoga practice emphasizes deep inhales, breathing in positive emotions and exhaling negative ones. Practicing yoga helps quiet the mind chatter and focus on healing energy.
When you join a class with others of like mind and lifestyle, an atmosphere of happiness, fortitude and dedication prevails. One of the many lessons of yoga is freeing the mind to feel joy no matter what negative propaganda or circumstances pass through our lives. We are beautiful and so is life! “Think on things.”
For a refreshing time to calm and quiet the mind, join us at the YMCA Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:45 a.m. All levels of practice.