Yoga to Improve Lifestyle

I'm sure you all have heard of yoga and its physical and psychological benefits. Let me assure you: they are all true, for the most part. For the past year, or so, my family and I have had a private yoga class for the four of us every Sunday morning at 9:45 am. I admit, for the first few classes, I found yoga a total drag. It took up an hour and a half of my morning and I didn't feel like I was getting anything out of it. Boy, was I wrong!

Now, every Sunday, I look forward to that yoga class. For one, I love love love stretching: I feel so fresh and energized. Secondly, it gives me a lot of time to think. Lastly, it really gives me a chance to de-stress and calm down a bit (if I need it!).
Below are the health benefits of yoga (courtesy of http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp):
I don't expect you to read through the whole list, nor do I expect you to understand a lot of it. All I'm trying to say is that yoga is great! If you don't like to exercise, do yoga! If you do like to exercise, do yoga! If you wish to better your lifestyle and mental and physical health, do yoga!

Physiological Benefits of Yoga

  • Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
  • Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
  • EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
  • EMG activity decreases
  • Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  • Respiratory efficiency increases
  • Gastrointestinal function normalizes
  • Endocrine function normalizes
  • Excretory functions improve
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  • Breath-holding time increases
  • Joint range of motion increase
  • Grip strength increases
  • Eye-hand coordination improves
  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Sleep improves
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Balance improves
  • Integrated functioning of body parts improves

Psychological Benefits of Yoga

  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
  • Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
  • Social adjustment increases
  • Anxiety and Depression decrease
  • Hostility decreases
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Attention improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Mood improves
  • Self-actualization increase
  • Social skills increases
  • Well-being increases
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Self-acceptance increase
  • Attention improves
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Symbol coding improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Flicker fusion frequency improves

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga

  • Glucose decreases
  • Sodium decreases
  • Total cholesterol decreases
  • Triglycerides decrease
  • HDL cholesterol increases
  • LDL cholesterol decreases
  • VLDL cholesterol decreases
  • Cholinesterase increases
  • Catecholamines decrease
  • ATPase increases
  • Hematocrit increases
  • Hemoglobin increases
  • Lymphocyte count increases
  • Total white blood cell count decreases
  • Thyroxin increases
  • Vitamin C increases
  • Total serum protein increases

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