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yoga benefits

Please can you tell me the benefits of yoga and what it does for you?

Tue. Aug 21, 8:27am

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It's very relaxing and helps flexibility. Also coordination and other balance skills.

Although, I've done more pilates than yoga - yoga is too slow-paced for my personal taste. However, both have similar benefits, since plates is basically a "high impact" yoga.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 9:12 AM

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when i first started yoga, i gained the awareness that my whole body functions as an interconnected entity. the way i separated or didn't separate my toes when standing, for example, allowed me more balance, less back stress. the tightness in my shoulder blades feels better when i stretch my midriff and hamstrings. i don't remember thinking about my body as a single body before doing yoga, but rather recall being aware of my arms, my legs, my back, my head...and noticing how each ached separately without realizing that all of the parts affect the other parts. it's a bit difficult to put into words, as i am discovering now, but i think i really gained an overall appreciation of my whole body as something i can be aware of and attuned to and in control of just by really paying attention. leg lifts are not more important than stretching my hands, they are equally important exercises. this awareness also made me try to notice how my small actions affect the world around me, how "i "have an impact on "us". i really started paying attention to the interconnectedness of things and people. and i appreciate the wonderment of the human body more, too!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 9:21 AM

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I started taking yoga as a way to cross train (cardio and weights were doing a lot for me, but I wanted to see what else I could do!) and also because I was suffering from some pretty serious anxiety and general stress. Everyone touted the stress relieving benefits of yoga so I thought I would check it out. I tried several different classes with several instructors-enjoying the physical aspects of yoga, but it was a while before I found the class and teacher that helped me see the emotional and spiritual benefits of yoga.

I now do yoga at least 3 times a week, either at home or in this instructor's class and have been doing this (with other exercise as well) for about 16 months. My body is leaner (in the places I just couldn't seem to access w/ weights!), my arm and chest muscles have more definition, and I feel peaceful, and relaxed, and energized when I am done. I am able to clear my head and focus more since taking yoga on a regular basis-problems seem smaller and easier to tackle after an hour session. Most styles of yoga also use certain breathing techniques to bring you to "center" during class and get the most out of your body. The type of breathing I've learned in my classes has come in really handy in stressful situations-I still panic, but I automatically focus on breathing this way, and I become more calm within a few breaths. It's really made me feel more "together" (since I was a big mess before!).

As a side benefit-yoga makes you more aware of your body in general. I'm less likely to eat junk foods and more likely to eat things that are nourishing because I'm paying more attention to how my body feels and reacts to certain things. I feel better overall. Yoga definitely isn't for everyone, but I say give it a chance (or two or three!), it may take a while for you to find the right type for you! Good luck!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 12:17 PM

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