Once again, when the going gets really tough, we turn to age-old therapies. And most of them work, too. Take yoga, for example. The physical and mental benefits of yoga have been demonstrated time and again. According to a report in the November issue of Focused on Health, the web newsletter of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, yoga’s benefits include improving sleep, mood and quality of life – and cancer prevention.
Physical exercise and keeping a healthy weight helps prevent cancer, according American Institute for Cancer Research. For those whose body cannot withstand strenuous physical (e.g. cancer and surgical patients), yoga may be a more effective alternative. Yet, even those deemed to be healthy can benefit from yoga. Here are just a few benefits of yoga:
There is a misconception that practicing yoga is tantamount to being immobile or sedentary. A high-intensity yoga that keeps the heart pumping may actually be equivalent to the recommended 30-minute physical exercise. In fact, according to Carla Warneke, a yoga instructor for the Place of wellness at M. D. Anderson:
You may ask. Which style of yoga is the best? According to Warneke, no one style is better than the other. What is important is that the yoga style fits the person. There are different yoga styles for every personality. One of the most popular branches of yoga is the hatha yoga which comes in several styles as described below:
- Ashtanga or Power Yoga is a more athletic style of yoga. This form of yoga gets your heart rate up with its aerobic pace and gives you a great cardiovascular workout that promotes weight loss.
- Kundalini Yoga has a strong meditative component to it. It focuses on proper breathing and chanting. While it may not increase your heart rate as much as other types, Kundalini yoga can provide mental clarity and increased flexibility.
- Bikram Yoga, otherwise known as hot yoga, strengthens the body through a series of physically challenging postures in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity. This exercise promotes sweating, and relaxing muscles for a deeper stretch and workout. It is sure to get your heart pumping!
Most of all, it is important to remember yoga is not a competitive sport. You can adjust your position according to your physical condition and limits. It’s not about winning. It’s about finding the balance.