Take a deep breath. In…and out. Repeat. Are you feeling more relaxed already? Breathing and meditation are practiced frequently in yoga; a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy (NIH). Various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.  This month, we celebrate National Yoga Month!

Designated by the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2008, Yoga Month helps encourage individuals to learn about and get involved in yoga and lead a healthier lifestyle. Not only is it good for your body, it also promotes harmony in the lives of those who participate. Yoga is beneficial for your body and mind and can help lessen the negative effects of some diseases including diabetes, chronic back pain, and depression, among many other benefits. Overall, those who practice have a low rate of side effects, and the risk of serious injury is quite low (NIH).

Yoga can also reduce stress in the workplace. Getting into a practice of meditation can help you relax, open your mind, and be more productive during your work day. Using a relaxation method such as meditation or yoga can help you separate your work life from your home life.

Did you know?

  • September is National Yoga Month!
  • There are numerous styles of yoga, including Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Viniyoga, and others
  • Yoga can lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Yoga is generally low-impact and safe for healthy people when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor
  • Recent studies in people with chronic low-back pain suggest that a carefully adapted set of poses may help reduce pain and improve function

Tips for New Yogis

  • Do not use yoga to replace conventional medical care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about pain or any other medical condition.
  • If you have a medical condition, talk to your health care provider before starting.
  • Ask a trusted source (such as your health care provider or a nearby hospital) to recommend a yoga practitioner.
  • Ask about the physical demands of the type of yoga in which you are interested and inform your instructor about any medical issues you have.
  • Carefully think about the type of yoga you are interested in.

Learn more facts, risks, and health benefits of yoga!

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes for Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Yoga Health Foundation, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.