50 Ways to Stay Well #22 – Yoga

Yoga is an activity that is seeing a huge spike in participation. Maybe it’s because our hectic pace of life requires a calming activity or because we’re becoming more sedentary and need to restore flexibility. It could also be that yoga has a long list of mental and physical health benefits!

Whatever your reason, participation in yoga has many physical and mental health benefits.

Physical Benefits Mental Benefits
  • Increased flexibility & muscle strength
  • Improved concentration
  • Increased parasympathetic activation
  • Sharper focus
  • Improved respiration, energy & and vitality
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Increased ability to be present
  • Weight reduction
  • Reduced sleep and sleep disturbance
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Reduced depression
  • Protection from injury
  • Increased feelings of well-being

There are several different styles of yoga, popular styles include:

Hatha– slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. Great for beginners

Vinyasa- dynamic practice with a quicker pace to raise your heart rate. Best for HIIT lovers.

Ashtanga– Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses.

Bikram– Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity.

Restorative– The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation.

 

Resources
Articles

 

38 Health Benefits of Yoga (Yoga Journal)
Hot Yoga Lethbridge Yoga for anxiety and depression (Harvard Health Publications)
Pop Up Yoga Lethbridge

 

 

How Yoga Changes the Brain (Scientific American)

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