We all know what stress is—whether it’s from our jobs, our families, trying to juggle too many things at once—it seems to be ever present. If we let it build up, it can be very harmful.
While some women are not particularly bothered by the onset of their monthly period, for many others premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be debilitating. One woman describes:
Just about everyone enjoys the natural high they get from being out in nature and breathing in fresh air—whether surfing, skiing, hiking, or just taking a leisurely stroll. But when we don’t have the opportunity to get outside, we can turn to some of yoga’s more introspective techniques for an uplifting natural high.
Some people practice yoga to attain a perfect body—in terms of lasting beauty and health. However, such a goal is impossible to achieve. A real yogi recognizes this fact. A real yogi knows that the purpose of yoga asanas and breathing techniques is to attain optimum health—or one’s best possible physical condition, given their genetics, history, lifestyle, environment, and age.
Practicing yoga asanas, even doing gentle poses for just 15 minutes a day, releases tension from our bodies, reduces our stress, and strengthens our immune system, all of which help keep away winter ills like coughs and colds. Doing Salute to the Sun regularly is also quite beneficial for building up resistance to coughs and colds. Yoga asanas in general help us breathe more fully, which strengthens our lungs and helps make them more resilient to viruses that are often floating around. Regular practice is key for prevention, because once you catch a cold, it’s best to rest.
If you have a home asana practice, you may find that time and again you’re practicing your favorite poses. If your back is very flexible, for example, you probably include a lot of backbends. If your hips are open, it’s likely you include poses that increase that flexibility because they feel good; if you’re strong, you may include a lot of arm balances in your session.
While it can be uncomfortable for some people to talk about constipation, it’s even more uncomfortable to experience the bloating, heaviness in the abdomen, the strain to pass stool, and the lack of energy that comes with it.
When we’re young, we rarely think about our digestion. But often, after years of living with stress, eating on the run, overeating, eating the wrong kinds of food, all combined with the natural effects of getting older, our digestion may gradually weaken. We may experience heartburn, gas, or belching, or just feel uncomfortably full after a meal.
I’m sure we all know of an elderly man or woman who has fallen and broken a hip. This is a painful and often traumatic experience requiring surgery, rest, and recovery time. It can take several months of using a cane or walker to regain mobility. This can be quite demoralizing to someone in their later years, who may already be struggling to retain their independence. Generally hip and other bone fractures in the elderly are due to osteoporosis, or the loss of bone mass.
The practice of yoga asanas is truly a boon for the deskbound, both for one’s physical and mental health.
Even just a few exercises done at or next to your desk throughout the day lets you enjoy a boost of energy, a wave of relaxation, and a clarity of mind that makes you more focused, productive, and solution-oriented.