Yoga is a practice that originated between four to eight thousand years ago with suggestions of the form surfacing in the Indus Valley civilization around 3000 BC.
The idea of uniting the mind, body, and soul in a single cosmic unit did not present until around 800-100 BC. I suppose by now you get the general idea by now: Yoga is really old.
It also is really effective.
As practiced in the West, yoga is less spiritual and focuses more on stretching and breathing. It has become more exercise than religion in Western culture whereas the Hindu population of India practice it daily in its more traditional form.
Whatever your choice, it is a popular approach for promoting health. There are 30 million Americans currently practicing hatha yoga, as well as 800 million Hindus of India who maintain it as part of their daily living.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a science meant to unify the mind, the body, and the spirit to create a harmony that allows self-healing. Yoga is a therapeutic discipline meant to enhance energy, fitness, happiness, and peace through the application of postures (Asanas), breathing (Pranayama), and meditation.
Benefits of Yoga
The effects of yoga are multidimensional and have physiological, psychological, and biochemical benefits.
Beneficial physiological effects are decreased pulse rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency increases as does range joint range of motion. Strength and resiliency, endurance, and energy levels also increase.
Yoga also improves posture, eye-hand coordination, dexterity, and reaction time.
Beneficial psychological effects of yoga include improved mood, decreased anxiety and depression, improved social skills, and improved concentration and memory.
Biochemical benefits of yoga are decreases in glucose, sodium, and cholesterol. Yoga increases serum protein, Vitamin C, and white blood cell count.
The examples noted are but a few benefits that can be had through the practice of yoga.
Bariatric yoga is an integration of the weight loss components of strength and flexibility, exercise, nutrition, mindful eating, and emotional well-being. Bariatric yoga modifies the classic postures of the discipline to address those who have medical problems. Joint mobility exercise is also taught to prepare the joints for yoga.
Joint mobility helps those bariatric patients who have arthritis or general joint stiffness. A mindful approach is taught that will help prevent injury and enhance health.
Breathing techniques will be taught and developed. A coordination of breath and movement burns calories, increases metabolic rate, and burns fat.
The mindful and thoughtful approach that is taught will allow a person to slow down and be more attentive to their surroundings. An improved sense of general awareness translates into an improved sense of body awareness and can increase reaction time if the aftercare program moves off track.
Yoga is also recommended by medical professionals to help resolve long-term pain issues. Its emphasis on relaxation can be valuable for the bariatric
patient who may be experiencing some pain from weight loss surgery. Methods to focus on breathing techniques rather than pain can provide the desired relief.
ABC-of-Yoga.com http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp - accessed 5/15/12
Bariatric Yoga http://www.medicineyoga.com/bariatric-yoga - accessed 5/15/12
Barker Bariatric Center http://www.barkerbariatriccenter.com/articles/detail/blog/Recovering-from-Bariatric-Surgery-with-Yoga - accessed 5/15/12
Kundalini Shakti Page http://www.yoginirmalendu.com/History_of_yoga/History_Of_Yoga.html -
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.