How to Zen Your Life With Yoga

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How to Zen Your Life With Yoga
Eating healthy is a very important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  It is prevalent to nourish your body with nutritious foods to keep yourself healthy.  However, it should be important to incorporate physical activity to your health regimen.  One of the most ancient and beneficial workouts is yoga.  It is said to have been started as far back as 5000 years ago, possibly in the Indus Valley of Ancient India.  Carvings were found in this region of various types of what seems to be yoga positions, leading to the belief that this was most likely the place yoga started1.

 

In yoga’s early years, it is believed that yoga had spread to all parts of Asia and has been linked to Hinduism and Buddhism to this day.  Yoga has also evolved into many different types varieties over the centuries, most likely due to the fact that yoga was taught from teacher to student and then student would become teacher to spread yoga even more.  This evolution has brought us to the yoga we know and love today.  Even though people think of yoga as being one general exercise, there are over a hundred different types of yoga, with different purposes.

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Some of the more popular or well-known types of yoga are raja yoga, also known as the “royal road” yoga due to the fact it incorporates meditation, exercise and studying, karma yoga, which has a central focus on the concept of God and revolving all thought and actions around that, and the most well known to us is hatha yoga.  Hatha yoga incorporates breathing, movements and postures.  This is the best place to start when you want to begin yoga and leaves plenty of room to advance and evolve.

 

One of the greatest benefits of yoga is how it helps with stress.  There is no doubt that stress is a common problem for many individuals in today’s society.  It is unfortunate how we let stress from work and home dictate our lives, but there have been many studies that show how yoga can help with stress issues.  It is believed that the breathing and meditation that yoga includes helps to calm people mentally and physically2.

 

Yoga has also been proven to help with physical health.  It helps with peoples flexibility, which can be a major problem seeing how many people have to sit at a desk throughout the day due to the work schedules that are popular.  Being flexible helps with joint health and can help you prevent injuries and even help with recovery from injuries.  It can also help with balance and help you grow stronger, if you work your way up to that level of yoga.

 

Yoga can aid with heart health as well.  It has been proven with multiple of studies that yoga can help those suffering from cardiovascular issues.  It specifically aids with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.  It also helps people achieve a healthy heart rate and can be overall beneficial to heart health3.  There have been other studies that show yoga to help with chronic conditions.  These conditions include depression, insomnia and anxiety4.  With so many of these conditions being treated with medication that can have side effects, it is important to know what other options people have to help them cure such issues.

 

Another benefit of yoga is how easy it is to start.  There are plenty of beginner videos available on youtube dedicated to spreading the teaching of yoga.  They have apps on smart phones and tablets for helping with yoga as well.  You can find yoga studios and classes at a wide range of places as well.  Yoga is literally at your fingertips, ready to be explored.

 

Yours in good health,

 

Vanessa Ardila

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  1. http://www.americanyogaassociation.org/general.html
  2. http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/yoga.aspx
  3. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/26/us-health-yoga-cardio-trials-idUSKBN0K40Y520141226
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733?pg=1
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