Yoga: More Than Just Deep Breathing And Simple Moves

By Janet Smith, PEERtrainer Health and Fitness Writer
Yoga is a holistic system that promotes physical, spiritual and mental growth .  The form of yoga, also called asana, is the practice of specific physical postures designed to balance and strengthen the body’s muscles while increasing flexibility.  Yoga practice involves deep breathing training, which involves learning to breathe from the diaphragm, rather than taking shallow breaths.

Adding yoga to your fitness routine will not only help you to get or stay in better shape, it can also help relieve stress, alleviate back pain (a common ailment in the U.S.) and more. The National Cancer Institute, under the direction of Lorenzo Cohen, PhD., is initiating a study to investigate the effectiveness of using yoga as a means of alleviating some of the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment.

While a yoga workout can be fairly intense, one great thing about yoga is that it encourages the individual to modify the poses to his or her comfort and needs. Your instructor will encourage you to go as far into a pose as your body comfortably can, and will assist you in making modifications as needed. Your flexibility and strength will quickly improve and you will find yourself able to do more at each session. You don’t have to adopt a heavy schedule of yoga workouts to get noticeable results. Every bit of yoga you do is helping you work towards a healthier, more balanced body.

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