Many people are seeing value in taking up yoga classes. Could it be for you?
Around 4,000 years ago, yoga became standard practice in ancient India for promoting health, helping with back problems, and even preventing disease. Then, around twenty years ago, it made its way into the Western world with a bang, encouraging over two million Australians to grab their yoga mats and take part too.
Yoga incorporates meditation, breathing exercises, and physical exercise, which means it can be suitable for a broad range of people. Even those who suffer from back and neck problems have found benefit; such as pain relief, learning relaxation techniques, and improving their strength and flexibility.
While word of mouth is helping to fill yoga classes across the country, it’s the research into its effects that is also encouraging people to try yoga for themselves. Results, so far, are encouraging, with yoga becoming an accepted part of treatment plans for a variety of conditions such as asthma, back and neck problems, heart disease, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Some studies also show that some yoga poses, plus relaxation and breathing techniques, can help with depression and anxiety.
Regarding neck and back pain, there is no standard approach for everyone. However, studies show that people who take part in yoga exercises twice weekly for two months can see improvement in their flexibility, endurance, and strength – paramount in most back and neck pain treatment goals.
If you have been thinking about taking up yoga, but you feel you may struggle, then it may be helpful to know that yoga instructors can modify exercises to suit. What’s more, if you suffer from a spinal or back condition meaning some poses are not possible or safe, then an instructor can also offer alternatives. Before you join a class, find out whether the instructor has worked with people with spinal problems, their experience level, and what their training includes. You may then like to sit in and watch a class before you participate, or join a one-on-one session with a trainer to find out if it’s right for you.
Yoga promotes health and wellbeing and can fit into most people’s fitness and exercise plans. If you’re looking to improve your strength, balance, or overall health, then it might be time to roll out the yoga mat, contact an instructor, and join a class near you.