Downward-Facing Dog. Happy Baby. Half Lord of the Fishes. Bound Lotus. The list of interesting names for yoga poses is seemingly endless – and so are the benefits! Whether you are a novice learning the Child’s Pose to help with flexibility. Or a seasoned veteran who can bust out a Firefly Pose on command. Yoga can help with a variety of physical and mental issues, including some you may never have even thought of.
“Yoga enhances strength and flexibility, improves range of motion, prevents soreness and has many mind-body benefits,” said Jessica Romero, ZumbaStrong Coach at Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group. “There’s a quote that I love about yoga. ‘It’s not necessarily about being good at it. It’s about being good to yourself.’ Yoga is just good for the mind, body, and soul.”
While flexibility and strength are well-known benefits of yoga, the development of inner awareness and self-confidence may be its most important aspect. Yoga studios usually don’t have mirrors as a way of steering the focus inward rather than worrying about how one looks while performing a pose. Research has shown that those who practice yoga are not only more aware of their bodies, but are also more satisfied and less critical of them. In fact, yoga is used to help treat eating disorders and promote positive body image and self-esteem.
Injury Prevention & Recovery
In combination with a regular exercise routine, it is beneficial to integrate a yoga practice into your weekly fitness plan. “Yoga is an excellent way to safeguard your body against injuries. It helps restore the body’s natural balance and symmetry, and it adds longevity to your body,” according to Romero. Practicing and using yoga in between your workout regimens can help increase flexibility. You can also develop agility and have a better overall awareness of your body.
Mindfulness revolves around focusing your attention on the present experience. Meanwhile being free of self-judgment, and yoga has been proven to help increase one’s mindfulness. This happens both in class and in other areas of a person’s life.
Mindful eating, which is described as a nonjudgmental awareness of the physical and emotional sensations associated with eating, is a heightened form of eating, where you savor each bite thanks to the ability to note the smell, taste, feel and look of your meal. Practicing yoga helps you not only become more aware of how your body feels, but it can also enhance the enjoyment and experience of the food you put in it.
In the same way, yoga can help you become a more mindful eater. It can also help you maintain or even lose weight. Those who practice it are not just more in tune with their bodies but are oftentimes more sensitive to hunger cues and feelings of fullness. Research has found that people who practice yoga have a lower body mass index, on average, compared to those who don’t, and those who were overweight reported weight loss after consistently practicing yoga every week.
One of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps you manage stress, which has been shown to have devastating effects on the body and mind. Whether it’s neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches or an inability to concentrate, stress can wreak havoc on you in a variety of ways.
Luckily, yoga has been proven to be extremely effective in helping people develop coping skills and cultivate a more positive outlook on life. By incorporating meditation and breathing techniques, yoga helps to create mental clarity, relaxes the mind, promotes calmness and sharpens concentration. Take that stress!
“It helps mediate and prevent muscular imbalances in the body. Helps prevent overuse of joints, tendons, and muscles and just simply makes your body feel good. Trust me, your body will say thank you!”
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Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group (HVVMG) offers its members award-winning coordinated care with a speedy referral system. Heritage has 45 primary care physicians and a panel of two hundred medical specialists across Southern California’s High Desert, as well as the mountain communities. They also have a locally based members service team and is dedicated to a spirit of excellence. HVVMG is part of the Heritage Provider Network.