yoga blog by yoga lover in Bicester

Five more ways yoga heals

Continuing with some of the ways yoga can facilitate better health, both as prevention and treatment from the book ‘Yoga as Medicine’ ….

6.  Improves Lung Function

7. Leads to slower deeper breathing

8.  Discourages mouth breathing

9.  Increases oxygenation of tissues

10.  Improves joint health

Connecting with the breath is a core element of both my teaching style and the way I do my own practice.

The improvement of lung function come through both posture and breathing – in yoga we learn to sit and stand tall – avoiding slumping so that we can breathe more fully.  We are encouraged to breathe more slowly and deeply and to breathe through the nose.  More oxygen to the lungs may translate into more oxygen to the brain and other tissues.  We just feel better when we breathe better – and function better as a result.

The cartilage that acts as ‘shock absorber’ between surfaces of bone – such as in the knee joint –  needs synovial fluid which is promoted through movement.  And of course moving correctly can help work the right muscles and realign bones – helping to reduce wear and tear.

It’s wonderful to feel the gradual improvements that result from a regular yoga practice … the world just somehow feels a better place,


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5 ways yoga heals

Am reading the book ‘Yoga as Medicine’ … all about yoga as a therapy.

The author cites 40 ways yoga can heal …. I’m going to pick the first 5 to comment on

  1. Increases flexibility
  2. Strengthens muscles
  3. Improves balance
  4. Improves immune function
  5. Improves posture

I’ll post some more benefits another day … just a list would be boring!

We are familiar with the concept of yoga increasing flexibility – and my students certainly tell me it does!  And some postures can certainly help strengthen muscles – such as Locust (Salabhasana) working on the back muscles, or Sun Salutations (Surya Namsakar) working on upper body strength.  Asanas to work on posture feature in every class I teach – maybe something simple such as coming up onto toes with a breath in, or a Tree pose (Vrksasana) or Dancer (Natarajasana).

What about improving immune function – yes the mind can influence healing – the strongest research links are to the benefits of meditation – again something I include in all classes – be it through mindful practice or ‘formal’ meditation.

And yoga certainly improves posture – through creating awareness, strengthening core muscles, teaching ‘correct’ posture – I’m sure my students get fed up with me saying tummy in, long back , shoulders down!

It seems that more research is published almost everyday on the benefits of yoga.  So why don’t you try a class.  You’ll find a useful tool to help you find a local teacher on the British Wheel of Yoga website.  And if you love near Bicester in North Oxfordshire, come along to one of my classes!

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