Learn about the different types of yoga and how it can be used as a tool to help you stay healthy.
“The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California. While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
“The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” explains Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.”
Other physical benefits of yoga include:
• increased flexibility
• increased muscle strength and tone
• improved respiration, energy and vitality
• maintaining a balanced metabolism
• weight reduction
• cardio and circulatory health
• improved athletic performance
• protection from injury