The Advantages of Yoga

Maintaining a regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefit

The osteopathic approach to wellness, like yoga, emphasizes your body's natural drive toward health and self-healing. "The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and the body," says Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California. While there are over 100 different styles of yoga, or schools, most sessions incorporate breathing exercises, meditation, and taking postures (also known as asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.

"As an osteopathic physician, I focus a lot of my efforts on preventive medicine and practices, and in the body's ability to heal itself," Dr. Nevins said. "Yoga is a great tool for staying healthy because it's based on similar principles." Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, prioritize prevention over treatment by investigating how your lifestyle and surroundings affect your health.

Because there are so many various types of yoga practices, anyone can begin. "Whether you're a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style," Dr. Nevins, the doctor, explains. "The goal is to push yourself, not to achieve pretzel-like perfection." It's an excellent method to reconnect with your body and your inner self."

Beginners welcome

"The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome," said Dr. Nevins. "Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia."

Physical benefit

Yoga also has the following physical advantages: enhanced adaptability improved muscle tone and strength better breathing, energy, and vitality keeping a healthy metabolism slimming down Cardiovascular and circulatory health enhanced athletic performance protection from harm

Aside from the physical benefits, one of the most important aspects of yoga is how it helps people manage stress, which has been shown to have negative consequences on the body and mind. "Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate," according to Dr. Nevins. "Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life."

Mental benefit

Yoga's combination of meditation and breathing can aid in mental well-being. "Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration," according to Dr. Nevins. She adds that body and self-awareness are especially important "because they can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for early preventive action."

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