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Yoga Insights

Yoga Asanas for Your Skin

We all know that practicing yoga asanas is good for us—it improves our strength and flexibility, increases circulation, and helps us to breathe better. But did you also know that it’s good for your skin?

Optimum health on the inside affects the way our skin looks on the outside. Good circulation, balanced hormones, and proper digestion and elimination are the keys to inner health. And what better way to improve our inner landscape than by practicing a variety of yoga poses with their profound effect on our internal health. Our digestion and circulation improve, hormones are balanced, toxins are expelled, and constipation vanishes. All of these translate into better looking skin.

As we age, the outer layer of our skin thickens, while the underlying layers become thinner. Canadian researchers recently questioned whether these changes were inevitable or whether exercise could perhaps affect the rate at which our skin ages. To test this, they looked at skin samples of volunteers between 20 and 84 years of age. (They looked at skin from the buttock area that hadn’t had much sun exposure over the years.) When they divided the samples up by the volunteers’ exercise habits, they found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had healthier skin—more akin to that of the 20- to 30-year-olds. That’s quite a revelation! Of course, it’s still important to take care of your skin when you go out in the sun because it can get damaged—regardless of how much you exercise.

So whether you run, swim, surf, play tennis, or golf, the practice of yoga asanas makes a great addition to your exercise regime—and will help keep your skin looking good! 

Yoga for Cardiovascular Health

Keeping the heart healthy is essential to living a long and active life. The heart works hard for us every day; its steady beat pumping blood through our arteries, bringing oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in our body. It’s common knowledge that a good diet and regular exercise are both key elements to keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. The American Heart Association recommends that we either exercise moderately for at least two and a half hours every week or exercise vigorously for 75 minutes per week. 

Yoga Poses to Prevent and Relieve Headaches

When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up—especially in the neck, shoulders, face, and jaw. We often don’t even notice that it’s happening. This unconscious buildup of tension can lead to headaches.

It can arise for many reasons: working long hours, holding the head in an uncomfortable or unnatural position for long periods of time, exercising excessively, regularly carrying a backpack or heavy load, and so on.

Meditation/Relaxation for Weight Loss

You may be surprised to hear that in addition to practicing yoga asanas, yoga relaxation and Yoga Sound Meditation can also help you lose weight.

One reason is because these techniques are so effective at reducing stress. Studies show that stress is one of the main reasons people overeat. Stress may also cause the body to hold onto fat, making it harder to lose weight. So by using these yoga techniques to reduce your stress, you’ll be well on your way to dropping a few pounds (provided you still watch what you eat, of course).

Yoga Poses and Weight Loss

The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to watch what we eat and exercise regularly. Yoga asanas are a great form of exercise that can help you lose weight, though not necessarily in the way you might think.

While yoga asanas don’t burn as many calories as, say, running or cycling, they have many deeper effects on our body and mind that can lead to permanent changes, helping us to lose weight as well as to maintain our ideal weight.

Yoga Is Fun and Great for Kids

Kids have great imaginations and lots of energy and they love to play, so it’s not surprising that they enjoy doing yoga. Pretending to be dogs, cats, cobras, and camels is great fun, and they really enjoy the challenge of moving their bodies in new and different ways. This fun activity has lots of benefits.  For example, balancing poses not only develop children’s sense of balance, but also teach them to be still and to concentrate. They become more coordinated while cultivating strength, flexibility, endurance, and stamina.

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