Get some ‘me time’ on your yoga mat

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BY: SARAH BARNES
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017
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I WAKE up and immediately check the latest chika on Facebook. The traffic is terribly congested, and I’m probably already late for work. My phone is beeping and ringing constantly. I feel stressed, tired, and at the end of the day, my mind is still weighed down with all I have to do tomorrow. I don’t have enough time in the day for myself. This is a common description of what a day in my life was like before I started practicing yoga. If this sounds like a description of your life too, you might want to consider hitting the mat to try out some yoga as a way to live a happier, healthier, and more stress-free life.

Yoga is a mind-body practice which combines physical poses (asanas), with controlled breathing and meditation techniques (pranayama), that have been practiced to achieve increased feelings of serenity and physical well-being since ancient times. In the last few decades, modern medical research supports the belief that yoga can be extremely beneficial for all kinds of human ailments.

“The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” said Doctor Natalie Nevins, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California. 

Nevins, an expert in both modern medicine and yogic practice, goes on to shed light on the fascinating physical benefits of yoga. “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.” Also on the long list of benefits that yoga has for the body and mind are increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, maintaining a balanced metabolism, weight reduction, cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance, protection from injury, and depression and anxiety.

The ancient practice of yoga has been changing the lives of people from all walks of life for nearly 1,000 years through many different forms and styles. Many people think that yoga is only for the flexible or fit. But according to both science and cultural wisdom, if you have a body then there is a form of yoga that will make that body healthier.

When I started practicing yoga about six years ago, I was just in it for the workout and the weight loss. But as I embarked on my yogic journey, I found myself experiencing much more profound results. I began to think more clearly, have more patience, and see the world through different, more light-filled eyes.

 

The true magic of asana practice is that you can start from anywhere, in a gym just trying to trim belly fat, and if you stick with the practice, you will surely end up in an emotional state where you realize that your true beauty and worth are so much more than something that can be measured by the size of your jeans. So if you’re looking for a new way to stay healthy in your mind, heart and body, yoga might be an exciting option to add some “me-time” into your day./PN

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