Yoga and Your Health


Yoga involves more than just learning different poses and getting into funny looking postures. It can be very beneficial to your health. Not only does it help you relax and reduce stress, but it assists with breathing and a sense of whole body wellbeing. If you are considering yoga, working with an experienced teacher is recommended and it would be helpful in making your practice of yoga more enjoyable. The instructor can make suggestions to enable you to obtain all the benefits of proper poses. This article discusses benefits, participation, and cautions when beginning yoga.


How Does Yoga Work And What Are The Benefits?


Research continues to evolve on the practice of yoga. Studies have reported that yoga can help relieve the symptoms of depression, diabetes, chronic pain, sleep disorders , and anxiety. A study carried out by a researcher at Boston University School of Medicine describes yoga as having a positive effect on parts of the nervous system. Without getting deep into neurology, the area of the nervous system affected is the portion that helps control body systems. This includes breathing, heart rate, and digestion. The research reported that if this portion of the nervous system is working well, your ability to deal with stress improves. The study is not conclusive, and other research is ongoing. Studies have shown that practicing yoga can build self-confidence, flexibility, and body strength. The social benefit is an added bonus. There are critics who believe the practice of yoga is a waste of time. Always, in any research and reports both pro and con, bias reporting and ulterior motives should be considered.


Who Can Participate?


One of the great tenants of yoga is that there is something for everyone. Not everyone can do all or many of the stretches or poses in yoga, but doing them all is not necessary to receive health benefits. Time and dedication are necessary to be a successful yoga participant. Executives, homemakers, seniors, athletes, and the list goes on and on of those who can benefit from yoga. Success in improving your health involves dedication and proper execution of the techniques. Working with an instructor who can tailor your needs and ability to your current physical condition is safer and the most beneficial.


What Are The Precautions?


Starting yoga without proper instruction or not having your physical state of health evaluated by a certified instructor can lead to an injury or make a current problem worse. If you have back, neck or joint problems, it is recommended that you consult a Doctor of Chiropractic, orthopedist, or physical medicine specialist to evaluate the joint pain before the start of a class. Beginners should not even consider intermediate or advanced classes as this could cause potential problems. The following are some injuries that can occur with improper guidance and instructions: The instructor must understand the capabilities of each of the students in the class. Signs that an instructor may not be for you include the following:
  • They only do advanced positions and do not consider the student mix in the class.

  • The instructor moves you too quickly into the next position; if done too rapidly old injuries or new problems could develop.

  • At the start of class, the instructor does not ask if there is anyone with limitations or problems. Ignoring the fact that you may not be able to perform the exact position and then trying to move you to the perfect pose can cause injury.
Yoga practiced correctly is safe. However, your safety remains in your hands. Communication with the certified instructor is necessary for your safety and enjoyment. Ask your teacher if they are certified and for how long. Inquire about the number of classes they have taught and the size of classes. The more you know about your instructor, the better chance of benefiting from yoga.


The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office understand the importance of complimentary health care. They can evaluate your condition to help determine if yoga is safe for you to begin. They work with certified yoga instructors. Call today for an appointment.


(763) 755-4300


The International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine