The physical and psychological benefits of yoga for stress management has been increasing. With regular practice of yoga it can help decrease stress and tension, increase strength, balance and flexibility, lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels. It also produces strong emotional benefits due to the emphasis on breathing and the interconnection of mind, body and spirit. Frequent practice of yoga for stress management encourages better sleep, helps individuals to not focus on things beyond their control and how to live in the present. It makes a stressful event a lot easier to handle, whether it's family or work. While most people have the notion that you have to be flexible in order to do yoga, the truth is, anyone will benefit from yoga regardless of age.
There are many different styles of yoga to suit your preference. It's not about doing yoga better or worse than the others, it's about how you feel in your body and how relaxed you can allow yourself to become. Yoga is considered as a deeply personal practice and no two people can or should hold a pose in exactly the same manner. A person has to work at his or her own level of flexibility, one that is challenging but not overwhelming. If you don't feel good with what the instructor is telling you to do, don't do it. Your body will warn you if you are about to get hurt. It is important that you listen to your body, push the limits gently, but don't let yourself be overcome by ego. Allow your body to guide you and be your friend.
The “goal” of yoga is to synchronize the breath and movement. It is important when to inhale and exhale as you work through poses. Breathing only through your nose keeps heat in the body and keeps the mind focused. Concentrating on your breath is the key to yoga for stress management, as it helps you let go of external thoughts and anxiety. The easiest way to bring yourself into the present moment is to focus on your breath. Feel how it goes down your nose and into your body. It helps you let go of the worrying thoughts. As you end each yoga session, simply lie on your back with both arms at your side with eyes closed and breathing deeply. This final pose (Corpse Pose or Savasana) is designed for deep relaxation.
Keep in mind that yoga is a slow process. Forget about expectations. Let go of competition and judgment. As yoga brings you into the present moment, you will experience joy not only in the physical movement and mental benefits but in spending time in the now.
Feeling stressed out? Try these yoga poses during the holiday season or anytime you need a break!
*This article was originally published by Jill Paschal at Lexiyoga.
When a baby can't stand, you may wonder how they can practice yoga and how it can be beneficial for them. In addition to a number of yoga for babies DVDs, there are a growing number of classes offered at local yoga studios. Babies never stop moving and many of those movements are naturally designed to alleviate discomfort. For example, when your baby arches their back, they may be trying to alleviate gas pain. These natural movements are mimicked in yoga and can be preventative. Here are just a few of the many potential benefits to your baby.
Some studies have indicated that baby yoga can help prevent future ailments like irritable bowel syndrome. Similar studies have shown that there can be an improvement in their immune function, thus helping to prevent colds and viruses – which means less stress and more sleep for you!
Exercise helps improve the quality and quantity of sleep for people of all ages and it's true for babies as well. If your baby is struggling to sleep through the night or they're not getting the quality sleep they should be, consider trying yoga.
Muscle strength and development
Baby yoga is performed with the assistance of an adult. You'll manipulate your baby's body to help position them into specific poses. These movements help strengthen their muscles and aids in development and coordination.
If you're working with your baby during the yoga sessions then there will undoubtedly be some bonding. You'll pay attention to your baby's cues, touching your baby which fosters oxytocin release and enhances bonding, and learning to connect with each other. It may be one of the most significant benefits.
As your baby's body is moved into various poses, they'll be making powerful mind-body connections. These connections are mentally stimulating and the connections will carry them into their childhood and beyond. It teaches them to be aware of their body and enhances the learning process. Because you're working with a baby, special care needs to be taken. The movements should be slow and gentle. Infants need to have head and neck support, and soft spots need to be protected. Additionally, if your baby has tight ligaments and joints then extra care needs to be taken.
Pay special attention to your child during yoga sessions. If they look uncomfortable or unhappy, release the pose. Additionally, baby yoga isn't designed for 60-90 minute sessions like it is for an adult. Fifteen minutes is a good time frame to aim for. Baby yoga can provide a number of benefits for both baby and parent. Your little one may carry what they learn into their life and continue practicing yoga throughout.
This article was originally published by Jill Paschal here: http://www.lexiyoga.com/baby-yoga
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