Embrace National Yoga Month
Friday, September 1, 2017
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 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.
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.
“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!