Yoga, for me, has been a godsend. Without it, I most likely wouldn't be able to walk right now and my life would be unimaginably different.
After major car accidents and back surgery years ago, I've been struggling with chronic back pain and sciatica. With nowhere to turn, I began yoga over 20 years ago and it has been the only thing that has helped me deal with the pain! The results on my body have been immeasurable. So much so that my journey has led me to be a yoga instructor!
Yoga can impact the body in so many positive ways. From reduction of pain to stretching and muscle strengthening, it’s seriously a miracle what yoga can do! Your practice will really be worthwhile if you learn how to incorporate yoga into your workout routine.
Pain reduction occurs when you strengthen certain muscles in your body. When there’s less stress on the weaker parts of your body and more support from the strong muscles, you’ll experience less pain. Strengthening my abs has impacted me the most, as having a strong core relieves stress from the lower back. As if all of this wasn’t enough, yoga also assists with balance, focus, stress reduction, flexibility, posture and joint pain. Trust me, the list goes on!
Stretching in yoga poses is so powerful, especially when combined with other fitness activities. For instance, if you bike or run on a regular basis, there’s tons of yoga positions that can assist the body when stretching your most active areas, like hip openers, shoulder, upper back, leg strengthening, hamstring and calf stretches. Even a pose as simple as downward-facing dog increases mobility, strengthens upper arms, shoulders and thighs. It also stretches the lower back, calves and feet.
I've had so many students say that they can't do yoga because they aren’t flexible. I always tell them that is exactly why they need yoga! Whatever your intention, strengthening, stretching or pain reduction, yoga can assist you on so many different levels.
About the Author
Elizabeth started yoga 20 years ago because of severe and chronic back injuries. Yoga has been the main healing factor that has improved her life and has led her to being a certified teacher in Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and Restorative Yoga. She is also owner of Embrace Yoga Marin in San Rafael, California.