Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hopefully yoga is one of your New Years Resolutions

All physical activities have the risk of causing injury. Hatha Yoga has survived through the millennia because its benefits far outweigh the risks, especially when it is practiced intelligently, using common sense and an accurate knowledge of the body. For example, in an article that appeared in USA Today, which also interviews yoga Master Bikram Choudhury, basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar describes his yoga experience: 
"I believe that yoga is one of the reasons that I was able to play as long and as healthy as I did… Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all the injuries you don't get… For me, I noticed improvement in my posture—that was key for me because I had been having lower back problems... After I started doing yoga positions—asanas—all that changed. My health greatly improved overall."
Elite athletes do not spend their time cringing in fear over the possibility of injuring themselves during their activities—that would precipitate injuries. They are conscious of the risks and take steps to minimize them through the right dose of caution, scientific training and a sound knowledge of the body. If an injury should arise, they work through it and often emerge stronger. As with Jabbar, many athletes now also include yoga in their training regimen to help reduce the risk of injuries and improve their performance.

Jabbar’s positive experience with yoga and his back problem has also been validated for others in the peer reviewed scientific literature, including a study published in the November 2011 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, entitled “Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain A Randomized Trial2. This study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of yoga for the management of chronic low back pain. A summary of this article is available on the website of the Iyengar Yoga Association of the UK and The British Wheel of Yoga; you can download the full version in PDF format here.

From www.dailybandha.com

If yoga did this for Jabbar - imagine what it could do for you? 

With yoga - there is a learning curve, so if the first few times you go you're confused, or not sure if you like it, KEEP going. Your body will thank you for it. 

Now I advocate Power or Vinyasa yoga and Bikram yoga. They are vigorous forms of yoga that help get you into great shape. There are so many different kinds of yoga it might be tricky to find a class for you. But if you are looking to get your butt kicked, sweat like crazy, stretch open your body and find deep relaxation all in one class, go to a Power or Bikram class. 

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