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How Yoga Transforms Your Body

When I first started practicing yoga about 25 years ago, it was on the fringe and certainly not mainstream in this country. Since then things have changed a lot. Today, it is a 10-plus billion dollar industry with over 20 million people in the United States practicing some form of yoga.

The benefits are becoming more widely recognized by our mainstream medical professionals and doctors have even started recommending a yoga practice to their patients. The wife of one of my business associates recently had back surgery and wanted to regain her strength. She asked her doctor if she could start a light weight training program. “No” was the emphatic answer and then he prescribed yoga instead. How exciting!

Scientific research on yoga’s benefits is still a young field but that is beginning to change. The Huffington Post recently ran an article on some of the research to date and put their findings in this chart. It is a terrific info graphic of yoga’s transformational powers and describes the benefits (1) after a class (2) after a few months and (3) after years. They then provide the research behind each of the benefits.BodyOnYoga

On My Soap Box

Over all, the chart is very useful; however, I’m going to take a moment to point out a couple of aspects where I don’t agree:

  • They talk about the benefits of Bikram yoga (hot yoga) in improving shoulder, back and hamstring flexibility, which is true. However, there are dangers in practicing yoga in a heated room because it is very easy to over stretch muscles and ligaments, causing injury immediately and over the long term. With consistent practice, yoga improves shoulder, back and hamstring flexibility without doing it in a heated room.
  • The figure next to the “Anxiety Relief” bubble is drawn with the chin raised and the neck hyper extended which compresses neck vertebrae. It’s important to keep your head as a natural extension of your neck and to not over arch your back.
  • Also, in this same figure – keep soft knees. You never want to lock your knees.

But, all in all, it is exciting to see that yoga’s benefits are being supported by scientific research and attracting western medicine. The financial savings along could be huge. Click here to read the entire article.

Enjoy and Breathe Easy

Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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