The health benefits of yoga have long been reported by practitioners and are now being confirmed by scientific research. Yoga facilitates better health by prevention and treatment. Give yoga a try and discover what it can do for your body, your mind, and your soul.
1. YOGA FOR STRESS RELIEF: Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
2. YOGA EASES PAIN RELIEF: Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.
3. YOGA LEADS TO SLOWER AND DEEPER BREATHING: Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.
4. YOGA INCREASES FLEXIBILITY: Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Gradually they begin to use the correct muscles. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible. Yoga also helps to improve body alignment resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.
5. YOGA STRENGTHENS MUSCLES: Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while these postures strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.
6. YOGA IMPROVES BALANCE & THE FUNCTION OF THE FEET: Yoga improves muscular imbalances by increasing body awareness and by increasing muscular strength from the left to right sides of the body, to front and back sides. Yoga improves the overall structural integrity of the feet by increasing strength and flexibility in the feet, thus improving the ability to physically balance.  Different styles of breathing (pranayama) work to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain while improving mental clarity and balance.
7. YOGA IMPROVES CIRCULATION: Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
8. YOGA IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING: Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardio-vascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
9. YOGA HELPS TO STAY PRESENT: Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
10. YOGA HELPS TO FIND INNER PEACE: The meditative aspects of yoga help many to reach a deeper, more spiritual and more satisfying place in their lives. Many who begin to practice for other reasons have reported this to be a key reason that yoga has become an essential part of their daily lives.
 Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing - Timothy McCall, M.D., p.30
  1. What should I bring?
      Bring yourself, an open mind, and a bottle of water if you like. Mats are available for rental of $1.00 per class and other props including blankets, blocks and straps are available gratis for your use. If you are interested in purchasing a yoga mat, local vendors can be recommended.
  1. What should I wear?
      Yoga is practiced in bare feet.  Socks can be worn for warmth at the beginning and end of class. Tight but comfortable clothes are recommended. Tightness of clothes is recommended only to keep clothing in place while moving. Some students wear an outer layer like a long-sleeve t-shirt or sweatshirt for the first and last few minutes of class for warming up and cooling down.
  1. Is there a place to change my clothes?
      At à santé Wellness Center, there is a bathroom to use as a changing room. Shower facilities are also available.
  1. What is a yoga class like?
      Classes generally begin with warm-up stretches and an awareness of the breath (pranayama). The class is lead through a series of postures (asanas), according to the class level. Postures are usually presented with more- and less-challenging options so that everyone can be comfortable. Some classes use props like straps and foam blocks to help establish alignment. Class ends with several minutes of rest called Sivasana.
  1. I'm recovering from an injury. Can yoga help?
      Yoga is a restorative practice and can often help the body to recover. Be sure to tell your teacher at the start of class about your injury and so she can be sure that you get the most benefit for your recovery.
  1. I'm pregnant. Should I stop my yoga practice?
      No, but you'll want to adapt it as your body changes. Pre-Natal Yoga classes are offered to keep you safe and offer beneficial practices for this important time. See the Class Schedule page for more information.
  1. Do I have to know a lot about eastern spirituality in order to enjoy Yoga?
      No. Krista is dedicated to creating a friendly and safe space for the practice of yoga. She is knowledgeable about the origins and philosophy of yoga, as well as meditation. She respects that all students practice yoga to enrich their own well-being. Thorson Yoga is open to all points of view and to all those of various spiritual and religious backgrounds.
                                   © Copyright 2010, Thorson Yoga
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