Although I’ve never personally tried yoga I do envy devotees of the exercise. I think it’s something I really should at least try as I keep reading the many health benefits to Yoga.
They say that an hour on the mat may lead to a better night’s sleep, which we could all do with. It doesn’t just tone your body it cares for our bodies as well as our emotional well-being.
Studies show yoga can also help to lower blood pressure, ease migraines and back pain and even reduce some of the symptoms of the menopause.
Yoga will improve your flexibility and balance and with a number of poses focusing on breathing it will also help to lower your stress levels.
There are a number of different styles of yoga, Hatha can be gentle or dynamic but because of its slower pace, it’s the first choice for new starters of yoga.
Others include Vinyasa flow, which is great for anyone who loves to dance. It’s a flowing yoga which is suitable to all levels even if you have not done yoga before.
Lyengar yoga is a slow paced style of yoga with some tricky poses but age and flexibility are not an issue.
The other well known Bikram yoga is suitable for the physically fit with a demanding 26 pose sequence which takes place in a very hot room.
Ash tanga is a series of short-held poses and breathing techniques that will need a good level of fitness.
Kundalini, they say is for the soul-seeker as it features chanting, breathing, and rapid movements.
Finally, Restorative yoga is for anyone who is stressed out as this type of yoga is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. Most of the poses involve lying down and staying still for a while so it won’t take long before you feel completely relaxed and stressed out.
If you practice mindful breathing even just for a few minutes, this can help ease some of your pain.
The book, Every Breath You Take: How To Breath Your Way To A Mindful Life by Rose Elliot’s has all the techniques to help you practice the way to breath better.
Rose will help you observe and open your awareness to your breathing with 16 accessible mindful breathing exercises like how to sit quietly with your spine straight and your eyes closed. How to sit quietly, concentrating on one mindful breath after another. Feel peace and strength that this brings abc realise that, in this moment, all is well.
The Buddhist Centre explains that the simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment and all the richness of experience that it contains. It is a way to develop mindfulness, the faculty of alert and sensitive awareness.
This great graphic which I found on Pinterest from My Southern Health shows how we can easily try some Yoga positions for chronic pain. Psychology Today write that chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that practising Yoga has the opposite effect on the brain and can relieve chronic pain.
Harvard Health points out that Yoga can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Another study published at nearly the same time found that Yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain.
A meta-analysis of 17 studies that included more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine. Practising Yoga also improved mood and psychosocial well-being.
My Southern Health in Pinterest have put together this amazing and easy to follow infographic on Yoga positions for chronic pain.
Although they are not based in the UK, it is well worth sharing this Yoga for chronic pain infographic.
YOGA WAKE UP...
Wake up to the sounds of yoga and meditation. The Yoga Wake Up app for iPhone delivers yoga audio sequences you can do from bed for an easier transition from dreamland. Find a variety of yoga routines from the world’s top yoga instructors and wellness warriors. Choose from Wakeups that feature slow, delicious morning stretches from the warmth of your covers or Wakeups that get you energized and out of bed. There are even mindful breathing meditations and Wakeups to do with kids.
Studies have consistently shown that traditional alarm clocks and snooze buttons not only disturb your sleeping patterns but can leave you feeling groggy for the rest of the day. Discover a new wakeup routine designed by renowned yogis and never have to hit that snooze button again. Wake up more peacefully with Yoga Wake Up.
For a comprehensive collection of yoga classes, opt for Yoga Studio. They offer 15-, 20-, and 30-minute pre-made classes, plus allow you to make up your own class using their library of 280 yoga poses (they’ll suggest the sequence so it actually flows together). The other nice thing about this app is that you can download the workouts to use offline, or stream the classes on your Apple TV or laptop.
Yoga Studio includes 75+ ready-made classes; including Yoga for Back Pain, Yoga for Runners, our new Hip Hop Collection and many more! Choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination) to find the perfect class for you. They think learning how to move from one pose to the next is important – just as important as learning the poses themselves. That’s why all their classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that’s clear and easy to follow.
Vinyasa yoga might sound like a snooze, but this app makes it more interesting with three different class structures and accompanying playlists. Each time you use the app, Down Dog will mix up the workout so you never have to repeat a flow. (BTW, the free version is great, and you’re not missing much if you opt out of the pro membership.)
The Down Dog App provides a studio-like yoga experience in the comfort of your home.
Each time you practice, Down Dog creates a brand new vinyasa yoga sequence so that you never run out of content. Clear vocal instruction and a matching playlist round out the experience for a true studio-quality class.
There are yoga workouts for all levels on this app, but if you’re just starting off you’ll find the set plans very helpful. The programs range from one week to 30 days long, and focus on a theme, like fitness or mindfulness. They even have specialised courses to help you learn to safely do a split or shoulder stand.
Daily Yoga inspires yogis worldwide with the largest yoga pose base. Enables you to practice yoga on all mobile devices and multiplatforms.
The yoga routines offered on this app combine interval training and traditional yoga to help you build strength, so be prepared to break a sweat and do lots of planks. There are distinct categories for the yoga flows (like strength, flexibility, and relaxation), so you can dial it up or down depending on your mood.
- Hundreds of modern yoga workouts from fatburn to strength
- Mini-sessions for busy schedules
- High-quality programs designed by our experts