What Can Yoga Do for You?

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I know what you’re saying, yoga is just not for me, Henry…well, I’m here to tell you that you might want to rethink your ‘position’ on yoga (that’s a pun, for all of you that already practice yoga…). I may be just a dog, but I can tell you I love yoga! It has done such great things for me…it helps me sleep better, it has relieved my stress (and I can get very, very stressed!), it has made my muscles stronger, and it’s um, even been proven to help in the um, bedroom, if you know what I mean…

As Gaiam Yoga’s article, “The Benefits of Yoga”, by Ashley Dodson states, the benefits of yoga are both instant and long lasting1. Dodson points out that yoga is for everyone. You can find a yoga class for any level, beginner, intermediate and advanced, and there are many types of yoga. If you try one you don’t like…try another! Power yoga, Bikram yoga, relaxation yoga, Ashtanga yoga, the list goes on and on…there are so many different kinds, you are sure to find one that is right for you.

Stress Relief

In her article, Dodson also reminds us how important it is to find a little peace in our chaotic lives, which is just one of the things yoga can do for you-it allows you a little break from the fast pace of life and gives you a moment or two to be centered and concentrate on…nothing at all! This is how yoga helps us relieve stress.

By relieving stress, we may experience fewer headaches, escape panic attacks, and reduce the stress on our hearts. This is good for our cardiovascular systems.

Build Muscle, Gain Flexibility

Yoga is great for the core, as all the poses help to strengthen the muscles around the spine. Having a stronger core means you have better posture, and this helps to alleviate the soreness in your shoulders, back and neck1. Also it is important to know that having greater flexibility also helps you to build more muscle. When you have longer muscles, there is more opportunity, more room, for the muscle to grow, allowing you the opportunity to develop larger muscles-this is not to say that women will become bulky. On the contrary, they will be afforded the opportunity to develop longer, leaner muscles2.

In addition, some types of yoga-those that ask you to hold poses for five breaths, allow you to build muscle because your muscles are being challenged to hold your body weight for a period of time.

Better Sex

I know I mentioned this before, but maybe you didn’t believe me, but it’s true, yoga can improve your sex life. Doing yoga improves your body image, and gives you confidence. It also helps you become more aware of your body and what it can do. Yoga also gives you lots of energy-take a class and see how you feel afterward. And, most importantly, certain poses increase blood flow to the pelvis, and this strengthens the muscles that play an important role in orgasms3.
Improves Breathing and Other Health Conditions

Believe it or not, the deep breathing from yoga also helps lung capacity4. This means you will perform better at sports, and just have overall better health if your lung capacity is not currently at peak levels. Yoga is now being studied to see its effects on conditions such as asthma, back pain, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Additionally, there are poses which are said to help thyroid conditions, relieve gas, and alleviate constipation. Clinical trials have also been performed which showed yoga’s great help in battling insomnia.

So, no matter what you decide to practice for, yoga can do great things for you, inside and out! Go on…try it! This old dog has, and if I can…you can!

1) Dodson, Ashley. (2010) The Benefits of Yoga. Gaiam Life.
2) Appleton, Brad. Stretching and Flexibility. The Physiology of Stretching.
3) Hanley, Kate. (2010). Improve Your Sex Life Through Yoga. Gaiam Life.
4) WebMD.(2010). The Health Benefits of Yoga.

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