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The Sanskrit word yoga means “to unite”, “to attach”, “to join”. Indeed, yoga’s facets are breath control, exercise, and meditation in motion. Yoga is a science, an art, technique, an exercise thousands of years old which hails from India. Millions of people the world over have used yoga for greater health–physically, mentally, spiritually. The exercises or asanas/postures of yoga really make it the perfect exercise for any age as it involves first an awareness of breath. It involves balance, coordination, stretching, strengthening, and neurological stimulation.
Yoga is very useful for children with hyperactivity and/or attention deficit disorder.
Much like classical music, yoga calms the mind, and studies have found yoga stimulates increased attention, imagination and creativity.
Because yoga is both a cardiovascular exercise and resistance exercise, it helps seniors who suffer from osteoporosis and arthtritic problems. Because yoga utilizes stretching, breathing and movement, it encourages relaxation and an improvement in flexibility which helps in the alleviation of stiffness and chronic pain experienced by many seniors. It also gives older people the chance to get out and be a part of a supportive group in their exercise. Exercise is always more fun when not done alone.
Women who are pregnant gain weight! Yoga helps burn calories. The expectant mother may experience low back pain, and yoga is highly affective in alleviating such pain through gentle stretches. Often pregnant women feel moody due to the increase in hormones. Again, because of the nature of yoga, hormonal swings are decreased and women report greater relaxation during pregnancy, and less anxiety as they head for childbirth.
Yoga is also highly therapeutic for women who have recently given birth. The high levels of Oxytocin in the last trimester of pregnancy causes ligament laxity…this may cause low back and sacroiliac joint pain in the final stages of pregnancy and after birth. Yoga is very affective with restoring alignment gently.