Incorporated in any health initiative should be some element of stress management. Perhaps you find peace in meditation, walking, being outside or somewhere else. But what about strengthening? flexibility? More and more doctors are sending people to yoga classes to discover the multitude of benefits of a regular yoga practice.
Why is Yoga Important?
Yoga gives you so much in return for a regular practice: better balance, breathing, strength, concentration, and the ability to better manage stress. By tuning into our breath and marrying our breath and movement, the mental chatter ceases, and we are truly in the moment. Not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. An asana practice (the physical practice of yoga) literally allows an escape of sorts. Leveraging what we learn from our practice and taking it off the mat is what it is all about.
On an energy level, yoga delights. Have you ever seen an acupuncturist’s image of the body with lines drawn all over it? We have energy lines and centers throughout our body, and our physical practice allows us to get our energy unstuck. By escaping from the world of linear movement (think walking, sitting) we engage and stretch in ways that our body doesn’t normally get the opportunity to, and in doing so we release a lot of stuck energy and get it flowing. This is partially responsible for the great “yoga buzz” you may have heard about or experienced after a yoga class. Your energy is flowing freely, and you feel wonderful.
Yoga also supports brain health and function. As we start to slow down in our practice by using our breath, we communicate to the parasympathetic nervous system and send calming messages to the body. A recent article published by Kripalu noted a study that found yoga offered “buffering effect on age-related decline” of the brain, meaning that practitioners of yoga are better able to cope with novel situations, and engage in abstract thinking. Not to mention better mindfulness. It is no wonder yoga is starting to be “prescribed” to populations suffering with anxiety, depression, and a host of other afflictions.
It’s true that yoga will build strength and flexibility and many people are initially drawn to yoga for the physical benefits. Certainly the benefits extend way beyond the physical but you will leave feeling you’ve had a workout!
“I just took Fran’s class this morning and just LOVE her. She really incorporates so many different poses and has such a gentle way about her. She is always walking around the room helping each of us make the most of our practice yet there is never any pressure to perform. Somedays I feel like everything hurts or is out of whack but I still come and enjoy just doing the best that I can. Fran has a grace about her both spiritually and physically that we all appreciate. We all come away feeling inspired, stronger, happy and elated from such a great workout.”
“Fran’s yoga classes truly teach the meaning behind the practice, both mental and physical. She describes poses, supports you in achieving your own comfort level, and quietly helps you challenge yourself. Fran explains the teachings and gives us something timely to think about in our practice and to be mindful of in our life outside the studio. The atmosphere is always calming, nurturing, and comforting and the space is convenient and quiet. I look forward to my time in Fran’s yoga class to balance myself both physically and emotionally. It’s an oasis in our busy lives.”
“Fran’s class is a total rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit. A no-judgement stress-free practice that speaks to each individual journey of self acceptance and gratitude, collectively connecting us as a spirited community.Nurturing, supportive and inspiring, each class a new chapter of insightfulness and introspection~or not. Always a choice, or as Fran reminds us, “a yoga buffet” to take what resonates or is needed. It is the most wonderful self indulgent hour of self-care. It never fails to disappoint and her music is fab :)”