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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why Yoga is Increasing in Popularity

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise in the U.S., dating as far back as the third millennium B.C.E. Originally intended as a form of meditation and mental relaxation, the exercise has gained in popularity today as a way to control stress and increase strength.

What Stress Does to Your Body

Stress increases the production of the chemicals epinephrine and cortisol which over time will damage memory and learning. It increases blood sugar which can lead to diabetes, puts stress on the cardiovascular system which can cause narrowing of the arteries and elevated levels of cholesterol. Stress can also damage the immune system and affect the normal functioning of the digestive system.

How Yoga Helps

Yoga combines meditation and breathing exercises that help people learn how to cope with stress and stressful situations. It teaches you how to become more aware of what is happening to your body, which will teach you how to control it. Awareness is important in order to learn relaxation techniques that will lead to developing effective, long-term coping skills that will relieve chronic stress.

Other Benefits of Yoga

Awareness is another factor that makes yoga effective in building strength. In contrast to many of the intense workout programs like jazzercise, zumba and aerobics, yoga is a slow and focused approach to strength building. Yoga poses place the body in various positions that rely on muscles to support the body.  Keep in mind, yoga is intended to build strength, not bulk. Yoga increases muscle tone and definition all over your body, giving you more balanced, well-rounded results.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.