Your Body is a Temple


Ohmmmmm.  Although some may see yoga as the new fitness trend, it’s important to look a little deeper into why yoga has gotten so many people’s attention.  Did you know that yoga is over 2,000 years old? Yoga's foundation is built on two core concepts: the breath and moving through a series of postures.  With regular practice a yogi can attain huge amount of mental and physical benefits.  Breath work improves lung capacity, circulation and efficiency of oxygen consumption as well as calms the central nervous system.  Postures develop core strength, balance and flexibility.  Meditation lowers heart rate and blood pressure and can also help enhance mental focus.  Yoga may also trigger the release of endorphins which are pain-killing and mood-enhancing hormones released by the body.  

Yoga is practiced in a variety of different styles with varying intensities, many of which I have tried. Currently I am in love with hot yoga which really gets me into a good sweat.  Hatha yoga is one of the most commonly practiced and is a great choice for beginners (or yogi masters) since it is slower paced and involves less intense postures.   

Some of the health benefits of yoga according to the Mayo Clinic include: 

  • Stress reduction: With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and moves you towards calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration
  • Increased fitness: As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.  This means you're less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
  • Management of chronic health conditions: Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga can also help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Weight loss: If you're overweight or suffer from binge-eating disorders, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.



Also, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies show that yoga may help the following conditions:
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Arthritis -- osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
    • As an adjunct therapy to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. 
    • One study of 68 breast cancer patients found that those who practiced yoga had less anxiety and depression compared to those who didn't. 
    • Even the DNA damage from radiotherapy was slightly less in the yoga group compared to the control group.
  • Chronic back pain
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
    • Lowers cholesterol levels, blood pressure, stress, and reducing the frequency and severity of chest pain (when combined with a healthy diet)
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lung diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Migraine headaches
I have been practicing yoga on and off for almost 10 years now, and it wasn’t until recently that I started making it more of a regular practice.  Since I committed to making yoga part of my weekly routine I have been seeing a serious shift, not only in my physical body, but in my mental state as well; it is truly a mind AND body practice.  By setting an intention at the beginning of each session and consciously trying to keep that intention present throughout the entirety of my practice (even when I think my legs may give out),  I’ve noticed that my ability to maintain focus and concentration has improved. It has also allowed me to increase general tolerance and flexibly in my daily life. 

So go do some yoga and add a little zen to your day!

Namaste,
Nadia



A long time athlete and health advocate,  Dr. Kumentas’ goal is to help her patients become excited about making positive lifestyle choices in order to enjoy healthier, happier lives.  Her driving force is a passion for healing the whole person on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level using carefully selected natural therapies, fitness, and integrated medicine.  She truly believes in the importance of practising what you preach and investing in your health.  
Dr. Nadia Kumentas practices at Zen Beginnings Wellness Centre in Toronto and has a special interest in dermatology, woman’s health, and pain management.

To learn more about Dr. Nadia Kumentas visit www.DrNadiaKumentas.com or contact her at nadia@zenbeginnings.com.

Resources:


  • University of Maryland Medical Center; Yoga; October 2008
  • Mayo Clinic; Yoga - Tap Into the Many Health Benefits; May 2010
  • Images from: www.corbis.com

  • 1 comments:

    Warsi said...

    This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

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