Healthy Matters: Yoga the new norm

Healthy Matters: Yoga the new norm

by Randy Behr
Stripes Okinawa

Yoga isn’t just for the ladies with the stretch pants, eating yogurt and granola anymore.

Sure, of course the “stereotypes” still exist, but let me tell you why you must change your views.
Over the last 30 years, the public perceptions of yoga has changed and eased up to where you might even say it is “mainstream,” so to speak.   One example of this is the ever so popular “restorative yoga” classes being used in the hospital setting for rehabilitation and injury recovery patients.

Whether you’re looking for an intense workout like “jivamukti”, which is a combination of power and “chants” that require physical exertion to Kundalini which focuses more on the spiritual side of the activity.  Whatever your desire, I think you will find yoga a positive experience in your life.

Here are 7 reasons why you should do yoga:

1. It will speed up the central nervous system recovery by allowing the body and brain to relax and recover through consciously focusing on breathing, your heart to stimulating your digestion.

2. It will decrease “recovery time” and “post-workout” soreness (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) through movement that increases blood flow and initiates movement to ultimately repair the body.

3. It can increase mobility of the entire body to include hips, shoulders and back.  Remember this, mobility generally translates into more efficient movements and possibly leads to bigger lifts which ultimately will transcend your body.

4. Can increase flexibility, which is a great way to increase your everyday quality of living such as being able to play with the grandkids, cutting the grass or being able to maneuver around the office at work.

5. It will detoxify the body as a result of the elevated heart rate, which rids the body of alcohol, toxins, cholesterol as well as improve your skin quality.

6. Have you ever wondered how high level, elite and professional athletes work out?  Well, here is your chance. Parts of yoga are included during their “dynamic warm-up” sessions and even the workout itself.  Yes, that is right. Most of you didn’t realize this did you!

7. Decreases stress as many of the classes focus on meditation and proper breathing techniques. A great compliment to your long work days and intense workouts.

Of course, I realize yoga has several different types and some can be more intense than others.  This is why I encourage you to do your research and find the style that works best for your situation and skill level.

But in the end, I think you will be surprised by the added benefits, such as reduced recovery time, the body moving better and the relaxation it has brought to your life!  So, go ahead and shows your best pose!

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Randy Behr -M.A., CSCS, MORR, Cooper’s  25 + years in sports & fitness; coaching, teaching, strength & conditioning as an Athletic Director, Health Educator, Sports Information Director, P.T. Education Director and Fitness Director with the NJCAA, USA Track & Field, Arena Football League, Olympic Training Center, and the California Football Association.

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