Why I Should Go to Yoga Tonight…

… even though I’m probably going to want to skip it just on general “it’s my Monday I want to go home and collapse already” reasons.

More than 1,000 studies have been conducted to determine whether yoga helps people suffering diseases. Here’s a sample from the medical literature:

Depression: Patients diagnosed with depression showed significant reductions in anger, anxiety and neurotic symptoms after completing yoga classes, according to researchers in California, Russia and Italy.

Cancer: Cancer patients reported an improvement in overall well-being after practicing yoga, researchers in Canada found. In addition, a group of postmenopausal women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer reported to Duke University scientists that they had fewer hot flashes, slept better and felt less tired.

Diabetes: People with metabolic syndrome, often a precursor to diabetes, took 90-minute yoga classes over 10 weeks and reported having higher energy, lower blood pressure and improved well-being compared to others who did not take the classes, California researchers reported.  —  Yoga’s Stress Reduction Helps Alleviate Other Problems

I actually started doing yoga in college with Raquel Welch’s book on yoga. (It is not exactly body accepting and includes the usual diet advice, which is why I’m not linking to it.)  Even then I found yoga relaxing and energizing.  It also helped me improve my strength & flexibility.  Since then I’ve worked with a couple videos, another book, and even ventured into actual classes.

My current class meets on Tuesdays; I usually do another practice later in the week to help balance it.  The class is specifically aimed at People of Size.  The instructor does not expect us to support our weight on our hands, for example, because many of us don’t have the forearm strength. (Not to mention this is the land of RSI injuries!) The only real drawbacks to it are:

  • It’s offered through the local community college extension program, so it’s not weekly per se – it’s weekly during the four 9-or-10-week sessions a year.
  • Tuesdays are generally good, but this 10-week session included Election Day (do I miss the party or do I go to yoga?), Veteran’s Day (school closed) and tomorrow, during a rather short week.

I am debating whether to sign up for the winter session, or to do more “class shopping”, or to rely on my personal practice. I also could always step it up by doing private sessions.

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