Yoga is often pursued as an exercise system- a way to get stronger and more bendy- but it is a powerful wellness practice as well. The NIH (National Institute of Health) reports that the number of Americans practicing yoga has doubled in the last ten years. This growth is attributed to the accessibility of yoga as a pathway to exercise, self-care and a healthy lifestyle. Because it starts with awareness and finding each individual at their unique comfort level and works to meet their specific needs - yoga can serve as the gateway to other health and fitness practices. As science catches up to what most practicing yogis already know and feel, we find that yoga can increase health and wellness in a very real way. Through the reduction of stress, clarity of breath and growth of self-awareness, yoga participants often find that the benefits of their practice add up to higher level of physical and mental well-being.
Yoga has a myriad ofhealth advantages, beyond the muscle tone and flexibility of a fit physique. It can serve to lower blood pressure, re-align joints, and help reverse the adverse affects of work-related body issues like back pain, carpal tunnel, and sciatica. International studies going back decades show yoga postures and exercises to be a successful therapy for the treatment and prevention of back ailments, joint and muscle conditions and some forms of asthma. A physical practice of yoga can decrease the major factors to common chronic health issues like heart disease, cancer and digestive disorders. Overall, scientific studies on the benefits of yoga against heart disease show that yoga may decrease high blood pressure, deter symptoms of heart failure, augment cardiac rehab, and truly diminish cardiovascular risk factors like pulmonary stress and obesity. In a country in which heart disease is a top cause of death, a yoga practice can slow the deterioration on heart health, and even improve it by more that 7%. All of this can equate to fewer trips to the doctor and more comfortable and focused work force.
Yoga is also being used with great success to treat mental health issues as well, relieving various degrees of depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. The practice elevates certain neurotransmitters and is shown to increase mood and lessen anxiety more than other types pf exercise, like jogging or aerobics. Yoga is also a great complimentary therapy to more traditional forms of treatment like talk-based analysis. Mental health disorders effect a wide range of the population, but even those who experience only relative stress and mood swings experience relief through a mindful yoga practice. The habit and practice of yoga, whether in group classes, private sessions, or consultations, also provides a structure of needed discipline and self study that are tools for the betterment of mental health not only for individuals but for larger relationships and communities.
In conjunction with limiting factors that contribute to serious health conditions, and therefore lowering over-all health care costs, yoga can increase mindfulness, which is a term that describes awareness inside of the present moment and experience. Mindfulness can help individuals make shifts in diet, exercise and self care that can be incredible valuable to their over-all health. This self type pf self awareness is what yoga inherently provides that other fitness practices may not. As an organization who promotes mindfulness through the practice of yoga you will experience more commitment from employees- more inspired involvement and community bonds. The kind of company that offers yoga is the kind of company you want to work for!
Painter, Kim "Ancient Practice of Yoga now a Growth Industry." USA Today 3, March 2015 Published: usatoday.com. Web. 2nd, August 2015.
Raub, James A. "Psycopysiologic Effects of Hatha Yoga on Musculoskeletal and Cardiopulmonary Function: A Literary Review." The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine Volume 8. Issue6 (2002): pp. 797-812. Print.