People have enjoyed yoga for more than 5000 years, and came into existence in India. It is an exercise that not only trains your physical side but your mental side, too. It has been proven to relieve stress, and when done on a regular basis will combing exercise, positive thinking, spirituality and breathing to relieve many of the pressures that build up in our daily lives and will promote healthy aging. And what is healthy aging? It is taking charge of your well-being as you grow older.

yoga poseBefore you start, you should consult your family doctor to be sure you are physically able to handle the yoga you choose. The next thing is to gradually ease into your choice of yoga; it is really a long journey to get into all that yoga has to offer, so don’t feel you have to rush anything. Next ask yourself if you work better in a group setting where you may be encouraged by others who are on a similar journey as you, or do you have the discipline to accomplish your goals in seclusion. Either one can work, and there is a wealth of videos and training guides if you decide to go it alone.

Will you see immediate results? Not likely, as first of all you should be moving gradually into practicing yoga, and secondly it is not a quick-fix solution to your problems, be it stress, flexibility issues, or whatever your reasons for yoga.

Remember that yoga is teaching you how to control your mind, body and emotions. This does not happen in a week, but if you work with yoga it will work with you.
There are numerous benefits to yoga, and some of them involve weight reduction, reducing stress, and especially for those in their senior years helps deal with strength and flexibility issues. But for long-time yoga practitioners it helps to balance the physical and the mental state of the body. This results in a more calm sense of well-being.

There are some words of caution for people thinking about practicing yoga, and although these negatives can be easily overcome, they are important to mention. Without proper guidance if the poses are executed improperly injuries may result. They could include ankle sprains, pain in the knees and other joints, muscle pulls, neck aches and vertigo.

Another form of yoga which I practice is Bikram Yoga, and although I will thoroughly vouch for its benefits, because it is done for 90 minutes in intense heat and humidity, it will put the body under great stress, especially starting out. There have been a few cases of shock, fatigue and injuries, and more than a few cases of nausea, but that is almost entirely until the body becomes accustomed to the conditions. If you can get past the first ten sessions, the rewards are immense.

People that have an extensive background in yoga advise that it shouldn’t be looked at as just an exercise program to reap its full benefits. Yoga has to be thoroughly enjoyed for it to help relax the mind and body, therefore reducing stress levels. The elements of yoga are gentle and don’t conform to strict rules and regulations. But with the daily practice of yoga over a period of time one can achieve perfect balance between the body and mind.

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