Ever since we’ve become more desk-bound and commuter crazy in pursuit of career satsifaction, yoga enthusiasts have been quick to point out to us how yoga can remedy the effects of those sedentary postures by restoring our tired muscles and flexibility with compensatory stretches. Most of the time we’re pretty happy to also get a bit of toning up as our reward, but science is now showing that there are even bigger rewards to be had in the areas of balance and confidence.
Bring on that balance
Firstly, that physical balance. According to specialist research in Indiana, USA, the monitoring of an eight week course of twice weekly yoga for stroke victims has demonstrated that individuals gain approximately 15% improvement on their balance sccores taken at the start. This is brilliant news for improving their overall recovery rates, as this improved balance considerably reduces additional risk of falls as they ressume their physical activities. With this in mind, it’s also undedrstandable that for these individuals, this greater balance leads to improved confidence in their ability to regain their physical performance in everyday tasks.
Part of yoga’s success in this remit is because it helps to co-ordinate movement as well as to build core strength, vital for those recovering from strokes. Yoga is also well known for relieving the symptoms of other conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, back pain, headaches and neck strain. As well as this, improved balance, co-ordination and concentration means that the overeall effcts of general stress and tiredness can be reduced, also resulting in less injuries from tumbles, knocks and accidents for all of us.
And how about that mental balance? Well thanks to its holistic benefits of targetting an area physically whilst also developing breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques, yoga can gently revitalize tired bodies and sluggish immune systems as well as relieve mental burn-out and stress, all of which increases the body’s ability to heal and wind perfectly naturally : it’s no wonder then that yoga vacations and weekends spent at a meditation retreat are steadily increasing in popularity.
Perfect poses for improved balance include the tree pose, chair pose and all four leg lift (no, not all at once – it’s about balance, after all)!
A course in confidence
Additionally, that yoga learning curve extends to offer increased confidence as a reward in several key areas, through the experiences of :
- Being able to take up a form of physical exercise despite medical conditions, ailments and injuries.
- Feeling those physical and mental benefits almost straightaway – and certainly from session to session.
- Starting to see the positive effects on muscle tone, co-rdination and balance after just a few sessions.
- Learning and using yoga as a source of improved physicsl strength and appearance, as well as mental empowerment and rejuvenation.
Perfect poses for creating confidence include the Goddess, Salute the Sun, Crescent Pose and Puppy Dog Stretch.
The best way to bring the best of yoga into your life is to join a class run by a certified yoga instructor or, if you really want to immerse yourself in learning the techniques, you could take time out on a yoga vacation or visit a yoga retreat. These may seem to be more expensive optiosn than classes, but once you’ve mastered the main techniques and experienced an intensive stretch of yoga continuing your routines at home becomes a very cost-effective way to exercise at home whilst promoting those improvements in your life and body’s balance, and boosting your well-being an confidence at the same time. What’s not to love about that ?