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Yoga for better health and stress management

Yoga for better health and stress management

6th February 2017

Yoga is one of the most popular activities of today, with more and more people turning to it for better health and wellbeing. Like many of my patients, I practice yoga regularly, and I can attest to the benefits.


So how does yoga improve your health?

Yoga is a big help when it comes to stress. Most of us have some stress in our lives and most of us know that our bodies react negatively to prolonged stress, like when those headaches crop up again or our shoulders tense up. People with autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis, usually notice a worsening in symptoms following an upswing in stress. So how does yoga help?

Yoga places a strong emphasis on the breath, creating a state of mindfulness. This means staying present in the moment, just focusing on what you are doing and where you are right now. Mindfulness quiets the mental chatter (the ‘monkey mind’) and allows you just to be. Yoga also requires lots of balance, which means that if you aren’t focusing on what you are doing, you might find yourself tumbling down onto the mat. All this means that for the hour or so of the class, you are only thinking of what you are doing in the present, which quiets and calms both the body and mind. Needless to say, the more often you practice, the more you reap the benefits!

Regular practice of yoga also promotes better posture, as it is designed to increase strength, in particular core strength, flexibility and balance. A strong core allows the body to better carry itself and hold itself up, thus preventing tightness and pain occurring in poorly positioned muscles. Yoga also promotes body awareness, which means you are more likely to catch yourself when you start to slide into bad posture.

Yoga is a wonderful way of improving health and wellbeing. Not only will you be fitter and stronger, but calmer and happier too. It’s also worth remembering that the more we look after ourselves, the better we can look after others. Everyone benefits when we look after our health.