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Yoga can help improve one's health


Last updated 2/21/2019 at 2:54pm

As February is dedicated to reducing heart disease, I took a moment to do a bit of research and found a great article from the Harvard Medical Review, summarized here.

A small but promising body of research suggested that yoga may have benefits for people with cardiovascular disease. The movement involved in yoga exercises muscles and anything that works muscles is good for people’s hearts and blood vessels. And this activity will help muscles become more sensitive to insulin which is important for controlling blood sugar.

Participants are encouraged to breathe deeply; this effort temporarily lowers blood pressure and calms the nervous system, relieving stress. One interesting fact is the heart rests on the diaphragm, which is the muscle used for breathing. Therefore, breathing well may assist the heart muscle with its work.

Movement combined with deep breathing offers a physical meditation, focusing and clearing the mind, also helpful in working with cardiovascular disease. The studies that have been done are small, but demonstrate that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, ease palpitations, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, lower risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar and stress hormones, improve balance, reduce falls and enhance breathing.

No matter someone’s age, physical condition or body type, there is a yoga class for them. Studios offer many classes from chair yoga to restorative to more active ones. Do some homework and speak with the studio manager or owner to decide on an appropriate class.

Leslie Salmon is a E-RYT500, RYTx-500 certified yoga instructor and yoga therapist at Sage Yoga Studios.


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