Yoga* is recommended for, well, just about everything. So how can it be beneficial for whatever we are experiencing? There are a few reasons:
Yoga Down-Regulates the Nervous System
At its deepest, yoga affects the nervous system by toning down the side of the nervous system responsible for amping us up (fight or flight) and turns up the side of the nervous system responsible for our relaxation response: regulating our bodily systems, conserving energy, and slowing down our heart rate. This is the state we want to create as often as possible for optimal healing.
Yoga Incorporates Proper Breathing.
Proper breathing reduces stress.
That same breathing puts the proper muscles back in charge of the breathing process thereby relieving the accessory muscles that take over the job of breathing when we breathe shallowly. Which in turn reduces back pain.
That same breathing breathes the diaphragm down into the abdomen which massages our organs, aiding in moving lymph through our lymphatic system (think detoxing) and helping with improved digestion and bowel habits.
When that same breath breathes down into the abdomen, the organs of the abdomen breathe down into the pelvic floor. That movement of breath in the pelvic floor stretches and tones those muscles. A key component to pelvic floor health.
Yoga Puts the Body Through its Full Range of Motion.
Our bodies are incredible machines designed to move. And just like your lawn mower or air conditioner, they need regular maintenance. Otherwise known as regular movement and exercise. Even a gentle yoga practice strengthens, tones, and stretches muscles, puts the joints through their ranges of motion and improves balance and posture. These things lead to less pain and discomfort in our bodies and help prevent injuries.
Yoga Can Be Varied and Modified to Work with Injuries and Illness.
Yoga’s vast combination of techniques is limitless. People practicing yoga with a qualified instructor or yoga therapist can have a fulfilling practice. Based on the person’s needs, the appropriate tools and techniques of yoga are applied to those needs, making it safe and effective for managing chronic pain or illness.
From seeking fitness to reducing stress to recovering from injury or illness, yoga is for Every Body.
*We are talking about slower or more gentle styles of yoga and yoga therapy here. Doing hot yoga or power yoga is something different. The more athletic styles are not safe for injuries or illnesses and can be contraindicated for anxiety.