Photo: At the end of today’s home yoga practice, I had a play with my headstands.
Happy International Yoga Day! I LOVE yoga! I make an effort to practice yoga at least 2-3 times a week either at home or in my local studio (which is amazing, if you are a Whakatane local, check out Mind Body Movement here.) My body really feels it when I start to slip up on my yoga practice: I feel more anxious, stiff, tired and generally cranky! I can always tell when I need to pick up my practice again.
But does yoga have REAL benefits? I mean its just stretching and breathing, right? Wrong!
Yoga is a practice that targets your mind, body and spirit. The practice of Yoga involves:
- pranayama (working with breathing)
- stretching and strengthening exercises
- asanas (postures) and,
- active and passive meditation.
According to the yogic view, yoga can improve your health by: stimulating your nervous system, improving strength and flexibility, relaxing your mind and body and, improving your oxygen and blood supply.
Yoga has been shown to have specific benefits for people with cancer. Cancer and its treatment have many side-effects including: anxiety and depression, fatigue or tiredness, difficulty sleeping and a lack of feelings of wellness. In a recent review (July 2017), it was found that yoga can improve psychological well-being by:
- reducing feelings of anxiety
- reducing feelings of depression and,
- improving health-related quality of life.
Studies have also shown that regular yoga practice can improve symptoms related to cancer and its treatment, including:
- sleep disturbances
- nausea and vomiting and,
With all of these benefits, it seems like a no-brainer! Especially since when done correctly, there are very few risks associated with yoga. If you have never done yoga before, make sure you ask a health professional if it is safe for you to practice and then find a qualified teacher near you. If you have experience with yoga and are familiar with the postures, here is a great on-line resource for you!
One of my future goals is to become a certified yoga teacher. I hope to achieve this goal in the next 1-2 years so that I can bring one on one yoga sessions to my clients. Head on over to our facebook page to let us know how much you love yoga!
Cancer Research UK – Yoga
Role of Yoga in Cancer Patients: Expectations, Benefits and Risks: A Review. Published July 2017 in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care. See full article here.
Energize Physiotherapy receives no monetary compensation from promoting either Mind Body Movement Studio or Do Yoga With Me.