By Sarah Spyros Rice, Liba Spyros, and Nick Spyros
There is no question that with the coronavirus pandemic people are feeling more stressed, nerves are more frayed, and there is a general malaise affecting many of us from time-to-time. One way to combat the stress and malaise is via Yoga which has been found not only to improve fitness, but to also improve attitudes and lead to savings in health care costs.
Yoga has many different meanings, such as “to yoke,” unite, and join. Regardless of these various meanings, most Americans think of yoga as a physical practice to improve flexibility and physical fitness. However, yoga also has several additional and important benefits.
In addition to improving your physical fitness, practicing yoga has been found to boost immunity, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help conquer stress eating. Furthermore, several studies show that a frequent yoga practice yoga allows you to experience greater joy, energy and quality of life. The overall result is an enhanced sense of positive well-being. With these benefits, you are better able to deal with stressful situations and maintain a healthier outlook on life.
In addition to the physical and emotional benefits described above, there is also an economic benefit to practicing yoga. A Harvard study conducted in 2015 found that people who practice yoga along with meditation required 43% fewer medical services resulting in estimated savings from $640 to $25,500 per person each year. Improved health and a savings in medical costs seem like a double win we can all use during this pandemic.
“… a frequent yoga practice can lead to a more fruitful lifestyle, especially during times of increased stress.”
Yoga is able to achieve these benefits because it is more than just a workout: it is a mind and body practice. Yes, some yoga practices can leave you dripping in sweat, while others not so much. However, they all share the common theme of having you focus on releasing, letting go of external noise, and focusing on your physical self so you can delve deeper into the additional benefits mentioned above.
The practice of yoga may be summarized into four components: postures, breathing, meditation, and relaxation. The physical strength portion of yoga focuses primarily on the postures and breathing components. The mental and emotional portions of yoga utilize all four components, and this is where the ability to focus and let go gets honed. Here is where the hidden and important benefits of a frequent yoga practice lead to a more fruitful lifestyle, especially during times of increased stress.
Yoga is a fantastic complement to any exercise routine you may already have in place as well as being, on its own, a complete physical and mental lifestyle enhancement practice.
During this pandemic, our lives have been disrupted as we are encouraged to social distance and modify much of our active behavior. Humans are social beings and we are designed to move our bodies and interact with each other. For our own well-being we need to exercise both our bodies and our minds, which also includes our emotions. A frequent yoga practice can play a critical role in helping us overcome the increased stress and burdens placed upon us at this time.
Transform Power Yoga; 15111 Washington St., Suite 109, Haymarket, VA 20169, 703-753-2977; www.TPYoga.com.
Transform Power Yoga is a YACEP studio (Yoga Alliance Certified Education Provider) and continuing education is important to our instructors. Many of our instructors have or are close to completing their 500 hour teacher training as certified by Yoga Alliance, as well having completed other certifications.