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Yoga is becoming increasingly popular across the board. It is accessible on home DVDs, classes at the local YMCA, gyms, yoga studios, corporate classes, and even online. While its popularity has grown immensely, there is also some negative press that has circulated. But just like with everything else, there are pros and cons, especially when it comes down to finding the right exercise for yourself. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

Here are a few reasons on why to try yoga:

A great stress reliever: Yoga encourages deep breathing, flow of physical postures, and positive affirmations that work on feeling calmer, more composed, and easing anxiety. Even a challenging class can bring about a sense of mental well-being.
A great workout: Yoga can be effective in improving flexibility and stamina, and strengthening and toning muscles. Breaking a sweat and getting  great workout should not be a challenge, especially in a vinyasa-style class with poses held longer.
Acute brain power: Yoga goes past the physical body and can improve memory, help increase focus, challenges the inner strength and increases the blood flow to the brain.
A great detox: Yoga offers a way to massages the internal organs through a number of twisting poses, which helps rid the toxins out of the body.
Some things to consider:
  • Finding the right fit: Take the time to research different types of yoga you may be interested in and see where they are offered. There are also many local coupon deals available that offer affordable classes, which you can utilize to test out some of the different studios and teachers.
  • Remember that there is no competition: “If you close your eyes, no one can see you!” is a great motto to remember, especially if you are trying a new class or feel intimidated. You are there for yourself, so show up to your mat wholeheartedly!
  • Take the time for yourself: Busy schedules are unavoidable for most lifestyles, but consider that it as a workout and a relaxation session rolled in one. Schedule the appointment to fit into your lifestyle and keep the appointment.
  • Give it a try: Try to keep an open mind and give it a chance. If it is not the right approach for you, find something that is better suited, but at least you gave it a try.
Personally, I first tried yoga almost 15 years ago on a home DVD, and I took a liking to it immediately. But my real journey with yoga began while in chiropractic school. I became friends with a girl at school named Robin, who was a yoga teacher and decided to give it a try. (Dr. Robin is an excellent practicing chiropractor in Northampton, MA, and one of my dearest friends!) My introduction was an intense one, especially physically. I had seen yoga magazines with super-lean yogis practicing gravity-defying poses in all-white that exuded calm and peace from every pore.
My experience was much different….I worked hard, held the poses to the best of my ability, sweated through all my layers, and would not even dare to work against gravity. But what started out as a very intense physical practice to tone my body, quickly turned into lessons that I was able to take off the mat each time. These were lessons on being patient, gentle, and kind to myself, not measuring myself against others in class, allowing myself to do as much or as little as I needed at any given time, allowing my breath to move me,  learning to trust that my body can support me, and many more that are still to be learned. I take my yoga practice with me everywhere and no mat is even required. As a matter of fact, I have started working on becoming a yoga teacher and share my love for it with others.
I encourage you to give it a try, test it out for yourself, whether you want to work on toning, flexibility, or agility; or to work on calming the chatter in your mind; or you just want some time to break a sweat.

Have questions? Contact me here, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

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