Yoga benefits a wide variety of people, from children to adults all around the globe. The gentle postures increase flexibility and muscle tone, while the soothing meditation promotes relaxation and eases away stress. A group of kids in Lebanon know this and take advantage of the health benefits of the ancient practice.
According to the Democrat-Herald, students at the Pioneer School in Lebanon are learning yoga after school. Yoga instructor Kathy Clunes is a fourth grade teacher at the institution and leads the group of kids in a course called Yoga Smart. The extracurricular activity inspires and excites the children, and some days she has more than 40 students in the class.
Clunes incorporates quirky games with the exercises to fully utilize the yoga benefits for children. While teaching the cat-cow pose, for instance, she will encourage the kids to meow and moo. during the downward-facing dog posture, she tells students to pop up their tails and bark. The kids engage in the practice because it's fun and an opportunity to socialize with others, but the classes also keep kids physically active and promote calmness.
"It's another way for them to manage stress and anxiety, and great exercise for those who don't normally play sports or get exercise," Clunes said.
This month, Ilchi Lee, founder of the Dahn Yoga health organization, officially released his new book, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," which gives readers advice and insight regarding personal development. To spread word of the book, the author teamed up with the publisher BEST Life Media to put on promotional events and workshops as well as an online contest host on ChangeYourEnergy.com. The challenge concluded this month, and the results have just been released.
Participants who purchased the book early received Lee's nature meditation guide and were able to enter into a contest to win one of three prizes: 10 participants took home a Magnetic Meditation Kit, three won a DVD of the movie that prompted the book, "CHANGE: The LifeParticle Effect," and 10 winners got a one-year membership to ChangeYourEnergy.com, including all of the site's personal development courses.
With the official release of the book behind him, Lee will continue to promote the health and wellness movement through his inspiring initiatives. The Dahn Yoga health movement leader, who is also a New York Times bestselling author, is the mastermind behind hundreds of mind-body training programs that help people improve their lives and create more harmonious communities.
People often turn to yoga benefits to improve their health. The ancient practice incorporates gentle postures that can improve your range of motion and tone the muscles to increase strength. It also involves soothing meditation – mindfulness that clears your thoughts and encourages focus – as well as steady breathing exercises that have been shown to reduce anxiety. That's why it's been used to treat chronic conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. However, the technique may also be useful in preventing hair loss.
Many people start to lose their hair as they grow older. In some cases, it's caused by age or by genetics, but there are also many other factors that can lead to hair loss. Unhealthy eating habits, hormonal imbalances and some medications can be the source. Stress is also a major cause, and that's where yoga comes in – the practice has been proven to reduce anxiety.
Stress relief is just one of the many yoga benefits for women and men suffering from hair loss. The poses can boost the flow of blood through the body. The uttanasana, for example, has you stand with your feet together and bend forward to grab your ankles. Your head is hanging below your heart, allowing blood to flow to the head and circulate throughout the scalp, which can promote hair growth.
It's widely known that athletes turn to yoga exercises for a variety of health benefits, from stress reduction to muscle tension relaxation. This practice is especially common among football, soccer and basketball players. However, there's one sport you wouldn't expect that has competitors utilizing yoga's soothing postures: IndyCar racing.
According to Men's Journal, drivers of this auto racing sport have been engaging in yoga to reduce the physical and mental issues related to competing. Many people think that driving simply involves sitting and does not put strain on the body. However, this sport can have huge physical effects – the driving position can be particularly bad for the back, and because they don't have power steering, they must use their whole bodies to maneuver the vehicle. Additionally, the stress of the sport can be intense – moving at more than 200 miles per hour while swerving through rows of cars leads to high anxiety in many IndyCar participants.
The practice, fortunately, provides relief from these issues. Drivers can use yoga exercises for back pain to help ease soreness in the muscles from sitting in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. The mindful meditation also provides much peace and serenity after a heart-pounding race and can improve concentration when behind the wheel.
In modern times, people have begun integrating yoga health benefits into a variety of different milieus. It's been combined with hip hop, culinary arts, paddleboarding and trapeze arts, among other mediums, to enhance the experience and bring serenity to the practitioner. One new trend that's particularly amusing is laughter yoga.
This unusual form of the ancient practice originated in the mid-1990s when physicians began embracing the healing capabilities of laughter. It started out as the Laughter Club in Mumbai, India, and has since spread to the United States. During a session, yogis engage in gentle postures, stretching their muscles and maintaining eye contact with other members of the group. The session leader encourages them to laugh by creating an environment of childlike playfulness, but the laughter should not be forced.
The practice may be quirky, but it does have a wide variety of yoga health benefits for men and women. Laughter decreases cortisol and other stress hormones. It also boosts your body's levels of endorphins, which reduce pain and anxiety. Additionally, the soothing movements of yoga help blood flow through the body, increasing energy and vitality.
Athletes often turn to yoga benefits for help easing the pain from physical exertion and injury. The gentle stretches are good for reducing tension in the muscles, which can lead to relief from soreness. But the ancient practice also has other benefits that can help athletes improve performance, and it's particularly helpful for swimmers.
People who swim for sport – whether at an amateur or professional level – are continually looking for ways to get an edge over the competition. So it's no surprise that they often engage in yoga to augment their training in the water. The soothing postures can improve balance and strengthen the core, which translates to more powerful and controlled strokes in the pool. Additionally, the steady breathing and focused meditation involved in yoga instill deep mental concentration and self-discipline, both of which are essential for winning a race.
Along with improved performance, there are many therapeutic yoga benefits for women and men who practice the sport. It can help you recover from the wear and tear of workouts and training, and it even works to prevent injury by promoting healthy alignment, increased focus and superior flexibility.
Yoga poses can be adapted to almost any situation. People often practice the muscle-easing postures in water, in the car while stuck in traffic and from their desks at work. So, it only makes sense that many practice from the comfort of their own beds.
It's easy to underestimate the importance of the few moments of peace after waking up from a good night of slumber. Few take the time to relax, stretch and think about the day ahead of them, choosing instead to jump out of bed and rush off to work or school. But taking a few minutes to engage in some yoga postures can help prepare you for the day by getting your blood and energy flowing throughout your body and clearing your mind.
A variety of yoga poses for beginners can be done atop a mattress. The goddess pose, for example, can be adapted to the bed by conducting it in a reclining position. Simply lie on down with the soles of your feet touching and your arms stretched out at your sides or raised above your head, then focus on maintaining steady, deep breathing. Exercises like this can help prepare you for the day ahead or even ease you into restful sleep at night.
Yoga exercises have been applied to a wide array of quirky niches – there's wheelchair karaoke and surf yoga, to name a few. That's because the soothing postures, relaxing meditation and steady breathing exercises are easily adaptable to many different situations and can be done almost anywhere. One new trend incorporates one of nature's most majestic creatures into this ancient practice.
According to Boston.com, riding stable Campbell Equine offers horseback yoga courses at the Sky High Farm in Leverett, Mass. The classes are led by both a riding instructor and a yoga teacher who oversee small groups of no more than eight. Students start out by stretching and doing some basic poses on the ground to ease the muscles and get the blood flowing. Then, they each mount a horse and engage in yoga poses while maintaining focus and balance.
This may be an effective form of yoga exercises for back pain, focusing on the hips, shoulders and lower and upper back, however, it poses great risks. A wrong move or lack of attention can lead to falls and injury. Despite the health benefits of the unconventional method, yogis may be better off practicing on solid ground.
The yoga benefits for children are vast and varied. Along with relieving stress, it increases flexibility, balance, coordination and confidence, and the exercise also promotes physical fitness. But one of the biggest upsides of enrolling your child in a yoga course is the peace and quiet you can obtain.
Most children are naturally energetic – a positive quality that can sometimes get out of hand. Many parents have trouble calming an overactive child. The soothing movements of yoga can induce relaxation, while the meditation aspect of this ancient practice encourages kids to clear their minds and focus their attention. This can lead to greater concentration in school, higher grades and better behavior at home.
Yoga benefits are even possible for kids diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The symptoms of this common condition include difficulty paying attention and controlling behavior as well as over-activity. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney looked at the effects of a 20-session yoga course on boys with ADHD. The results showed that, in conjunction with medication, yoga is a solid form of treatment for this disorder.
Many people utilize yoga poses for weight loss. Along with helping improve your outlook on life, this ancient practice has many physical benefits – improving balance, heightening flexibility, toning the muscles and burning calories. But for people who suffer from eating disorders that cause insufficient caloric and nutrient intake, yoga can also be a helpful tool in the healing process.
According to the Eating Disorders Coalition, more than 11 million people in America are afflicted by an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In fact, among adolescents, anorexia is the third most common chronic ailment, and it has the highest mortality rate compared to all other mental illnesses at a whopping 20 percent.
Yoga poses provide people suffering from such disorders with an array of benefits. It has the ability to relieve stress and anxiety, which can in turn help people deal with their emotions more efficiently and handle the triggers that lead body-harming activities associated with eating disorders, like starving oneself or binge eating. Yoga has also been shown to boost self esteem, a lack of which often is often a cause of disorders involved in food consumption. Additionally, this exercise can give someone a greater connection to his or her body, allowing that person to better understand what it needs to be healthy.