Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Medical Benefits of Yoga

 A couple of years ago, I had a regular yoga practice. I felt myself becoming more limber and flexible with each passing day. Unfortunately, I have practiced less and less, especially during the past three months. When I heard about Tuesday's talk on the "Medical Benefits of Yoga" at the Guelph Public Library, I decided to attend.

I was not disappointed.

Dr. Alexander Audette delivered an interesting and informative presentation. He discussed the many benefits of yoga, which he considers the "finest therapeutic exercise in existence."

Some interesting notes...
  •  The inversions regulate blood flood, increase metabolism and improve hypothalamic function. I also learned that the shoulder stand and "legs up the wall" are excellent poses for anyone with hypothyroidism. 
  • The balancing poses increase strength and cerebelar activity. I have the greatest difficulty with these poses, but am determined to master them.
  • Yoga poses should be held for five breaths (about 20 seconds). 
  • The Jala-Neti cleansing technique provides nasal irrigation--a help to anyone suffering from sinus problems and allergies.
  • Hot yoga is not a good idea for anyone who is not young and fit. Most of us are not acclimatized to the warmer temperatures and can experience problems when we lose electrolytes. 
  • Drink coconut water to replace the loss of electrolytes.
  • Once a week is not enough. Dr. Audette recommends three to four yoga sessions a week. He practices each day for 90 minutes.
  • Dr. Audette learned yoga from a book. He followed the 300-week course in Light on Yoga. He recommends Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health for beginners. Both books are written by Iyengar.
  • Final note--"Yoga poses should be mildly uncomfortable."
I was inspired--next week I'll start up again!

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