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Embrace National Yoga Month

Friday, September 1, 2017

By: Molly Soto


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September is National Yoga Month. Go for it. Embrace it.

 

All ages can benefit from yoga, which was developed thousands of years ago in India as a way to foster physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

 

Today, there are many varieties of yoga, each promoting some aspect of physical or mental wellness. The experience and the benefits, however, are different for each person.

 

“Yoga is great for heart health,” says Dr. William Witmer, an interventional cardiologist with Aurora BayCare Cardiology.

 

Yoga helps to improve circulation, more efficiently delivering oxygenated blood to the body’s cells, especially via yoga breathing techniques.  Even modest yoga workouts help lower the resting heart rate, increase endurance and improve oxygen intake.

 

“Its positions can be done on the go, with many of the same benefits as a long class,” says Witmer, who’s an avid yoga practitioner.

 

Yoga Alliance, a non-profit professional trade group of 86,000 yoga teachers and schools, tracks research on yoga’s benefits for physical and mental health for people of all ages.

 

For older people, yoga can help improve flexibility, mobility and balance, and reduce the risk of falls.

 

Yoga also may help those with back pain, spinal injuries, osteoporosis, cancer, chronic pain, weight issues, diabetes or women’s health issues. It also may contribute to fitness, wellness, stress relief, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind and spiritual growth.

 

With summer winding down, outdoor yoga classes will give way to indoor classes. They’re widely available, either in group or individual settings. Check with community recreation programs, fitness centers and private yoga studios.

 

Dr. Lynn Wagner, an integrative lifestyle medicine physician with BayCare Clinic, offers a suggestion for Wisconsin’s long, cold months.

 

“I love hot yoga,” she says, “especially in the winter on those days that I feel chilled to the bone, yoga performed in hot, humid conditions keeps me warmed up all day.”

 

Hot yoga isn’t for everyone. Witmer, the cardiologist, says heart patients should stay with conventional yoga and not subject their heart and lungs to hot yoga conditions.

 

Dr. Wagner agrees, talk to your doctor before you start hot yoga and start with beginner classes first!

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Witmer William

William Witmer, MD, is a Board Certified fellowship trained interventional cardiologist. He has completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology from the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and has special interests in coronary artery disease and nuclear cardiology. Learn more here.

Wagner Lynn

Dr. Lynn Wagner is an integrative lifestyle medicine physician with BayCare Clinic. She is fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine and offers this increasingly popular approach to healthcare to patients in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Dr. Wagner is also board certified in Emergency Medicine which gives her a unique combination of skills to care for her patients. 

 

Away from the office, the Green Bay area native enjoys running, cycling with her family, hiking, spending time with her family and relishes the excitement of all the outdoors activities Wisconsin’s winter season has to offer.

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.