This trendy exercise benefits your mind and body
Yoga is a very popular and relaxing pastime. We know it is good for our bodies, what are the specific health benefits?
Yoga classes can be found in studios, gyms and local rec centers. They often cover breathing exercises, meditation practices and muscle manipulating poses. According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), yoga focuses on the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing.
“Yoga can promote increased energy and flexibility, better circulation, focus and concentration, relaxation, decreased pain and stress and weight reduction,” says Maritess Caamic, manager at the Creticos Cancer Center at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.
In addition to these, taking up yoga can also help us physically maintain a balanced metabolism, improve cardio and circulatory health and help protect from future injury, according to the AOA. It can also impact mental well-being by promoting a positive outlook on life, increasing body awareness and strengthening coping skills.
Caamic says yoga can be beneficial for many medical conditions; she has seen the impact it has had on herself, her family and her patients. Personally, she appreciates the benefits to mind and body, the time to truly gain greater awareness and focus to re-center her “self” so she can continue to better contribute to others both personally and professionally.
“I can also speak to yoga’s benefits in helping patients with chronic pain related to cancer, promoting relaxation and mind-body awareness, while providing physical activity that may be lower impact than aerobic activities,” says Caamic.
However, yoga should be exercised with caution.
“Yoga, like any physical activity, must be tailored to a person’s physical capabilities,” says Caamic. “Most instructors are very transparent about sharing modified poses for participants with physical limitations or challenges. If there is any doubt about specific yoga activities, one should consult a physician for recommendations.”
Yoga is a fun form of exercise that stimulates the body in ways other exercises can’t. Try finding a class for yourself or check it out with friends!
Advocate Illinois Masonic is proud to partner with ALAS-Wings, a bi-cultural, bilingual support group for women who are cancer survivors and provides yoga free of charge once per month. Learn more about the support group and the philanthropic activities that help make it possible.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.