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Yoga Insights

Yoga for a Healthy Back

Since ancient times, yogis teaching and practicing asanas have placed a great deal of emphasis on the back, especially the spine.

They appreciated the value of keeping the spinal column straight, strong, flexible, and relaxed. Not only does a healthy spine have a favorable impact on your overall comfort and mobility (both present and future), but it also benefits your internal organs, glands, and tissue. A healthy back and spine also helps increase your energy level and improves the circulation of prana (subtle energy) throughout the body. 

Practicing yoga asanas helps you cultivate and maintain a strong, supple, and healthy back. It also makes you more aware of your posture and how you move. This awareness helps you intuitively correct your movements and posture, whether it’s the way you lift or carry things, the position you sleep in, or the way you sit or stand. With regular practice, you naturally begin to move more wisely and carefully in ways that protect the back. 

This week’s yoga pose, Easy Half Locust is great for strengthening the lower back. But strong legs, abs and good flexibility are also important for keeping your back healthy. So don’t wait until you have a back problem to begin practicing yoga poses. Make it a regular part of your life now and you’ll reduce your chances of future back aches, pains, and injuries. You’ll be glad you did. 

Caution: If you have serious back problems or have injured your back or neck, be sure to consult your doctor to find out whether yoga poses are suitable for you.

Restorative Yoga Asanas

A common misconception these days is that in order to benefit from yoga asanas, we have to strive hard, work up a sweat, do extreme poses, and really push our limits. While there’s nothing wrong with challenging ourselves, practicing yoga asanas in a gentle, passive way has many benefits. It allows us to slow down and really check in with what’s going on in our body, to respect our limitations and work with them to gradually increase our well-being.

Yoga for Liver Health

Taking care of our liver is not something we think about very often, but our liver certainly takes care of us. This large organ is a key player in running the complex machine of the body—in fact, it performs over 300 functions. For example, the liver filters toxins in the blood that may come from drugs, alcohol, or other poisonous substances.  It breaks down protein into amino acids. It converts the carbs we eat into glycogen, which can later be converted back to glucose to give us energy. Bile, which is necessary for breaking down the fats we eat, is produced in the liver.

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. 

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