5 Health Benefits Of Yoga
“Yoga is selfless, cleansing, freeing, balancing, inspiring, and joyfully performed: a vision in which one experiences peaceful interconnectedness with all life around them.” Or at least so says The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, long before anyone uttered the words “downward facing dog.”
Yoga has mutated and transformed before our very eyes. Some yoga practitioners barely move, while others sweat from the backs of their knees (by choice). No matter what your practice looks like, yoga is a very healthy thing indeed. Here are five amazing health benefits that should make you feel great about your decision to roll out your mat:
Staves Off Stress And Anxiety
Studies have shown that yoga practitioners are significantly less anxious, depressed, tense, angry and fatigued after class than they are before. This is hardly surprising. However, the health benefits of yoga are not just contained to that hour of class. Practicing yoga can certainly have physical consequences, such as lower blood pressure, but it can also allow you to take a step back from rash reactions. That deep breathing is just as effective after an argument as it is in an incense-scented room.
Yoga May Lower Your Risk Of Cancer
A 2013 study tried to look into how yoga may improve wellness and it found that there was a rapid effect on gene expansion. There was a greater change in circulating cancer-fighting immune cells after a series of gentle postures, meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises). Pretty amazing yoga magic, if you ask us.
It Can Help With Low Back Pain
A staggering amount of people (some suggest 80%) will experience some form of low back pain in our lives. This can be debilitating and worsened by the shapes we place our bodies in again and again. Slouching over a computer may become our baseline, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A study placed yoga at the same level of effectiveness as stretching with a physical therapist. One thing is for certain: our bodies crave movement. Yoga’s ability to stretch the spine in all directions can help us to feel healthier and pain-free.
Adding to the list of astounding health benefits, a study showed that yoga had a positive effect in the management of type II diabetes by decreasing blood glucose levels. The postulation is that the mindful movement associated with yoga is excellent for improving digestion, and therefore, improving blood sugar. Helping move things along, as it were, is a good practice for all of us.
It Can Enhance Mental Health
Mental illnesses are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Yoga has been reviewed as helpful for people living with depression, schizophrenia, anxiety or sleep disorders. Studies suggest that yoga influences neurotransmitters, inflammation and oxidative stress in a manner similar to anti-depressants and psychotherapy. This does not mean that it will stand in for medication, but it can work wonderfully as an adjunct to strengthen mental health.
It may feel like a simple thing to do: show up at a studio to stretch and have some time away from your obligations. However, science is proving that this slow hour may be an incredibly beneficial change to the quality of your life. So what are you waiting for? Get on your mat today!
Courtney Sunday went to her first yoga class in the late 1990s. It took some time for her to get hooked but once she did, she went to a teacher training, claiming adamantly that she would never teach. That didn’t work out so well. Courtney now leads 200-hour teacher trainings around the world and works as a freelance writer. You can find out more about her at www.courtneysunday.com and https://somuchyoga.com.
It's February, and you know what that means? You made it through the 1st month of the New Year! January can sometimes feel like a crazy month. With coming right off of the holidays and starting with a holiday, only to be followed by trying to stick to our resolutions, this past month may have felt a bit rushed.
But this month, let's remember that it is still winter, and in winter, animals hibernate; thus, we should a bit too! Take a cue from Mama Nature and slow down. Stop hurrying from one thing to another, and try to enjoy the moments in between, ya know, life.... #mondaymantra
It's the last week of 2015. Another year has come to a close, and we are left with that time in between Christmas and New Year's to reflect. To think back on all that has happened. To think about what went great and what didn't go so great. To smile at the remembrance of joy and bow to what the disappoints and sadness taught you.
This brief, but awkward time in the calendar year can become less odd if you take the time to go inward and delve deep. To prepare for the coming year and get crystal clear on where you want to head. So get a cup of tea, grab a notebook and pen, and get to envisioning, sister!
Here's to another beautiful year. And so it is....
To fully be able to love another, we must love ourselves. You've heard this time and time again, yet how many of us don't really do that much about it. Sure, maybe we occasionally buy ourselves a cute new outfit or treat ourselves to a fancy coffee, but...
self-care should be an everyday ritual!
How do you love yourself? From going to a sweaty vinyasa class, finding time to read a favorite book, or paint a canvas, what forms of self-care do you practice? Or maybe you love self-care rituals like morning intention setting or prayer.
What's your self-care? Tell us! #mondaymantra #iloveme
SAY HELLO TO @EVOLVEFITWEAR'S FOUNDER!
Jiva babes, meet Kyla Smith, the lady boss behind this one stop shop for all things fashionable activewear! We are proud to say that JIVA is now available on Evolefitwear.com, so we wanted to interview this gorgeous lady to learn more about the woman behind the leggings.
1) What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up that helps kick-start your day on the right track? I make coffee, play with my dog (@brixtonthekid) and watch just a little bit of the news. I’m starting to be more of a morning person getting up early- its still a bit of a struggle.
2) Do you have a go-to Motivational Mantra? “If you build it, they will come” (Stolen from the 90’s movie Field of Dreams). You just have to take a leap of faith and know what you are doing is the right course of action. It’s ok to over-analyze your decisions, but sometimes you just have to jump and believe you’ll land in the right spot. I read a simple quote the other day I like a lot: “Trust your instincts & stand behind your decisions.” Get past the analyzing part, and just start makin’ moves!
3) Kicking-ass in your field of expertise can sometimes be a lot of work, how do you stay connected to your center on those inevitable tough days? I love going for long hikes outside. I’m grateful to be able to live in the Pac NW where we have beautiful outdoor hikes packed full of trees. Getting away from the electronics is important. The over-stimulus of technology on a day-to-day basis is pretty overwhelming. I bring my phone with me everywhere in case of an emergency, but I don’t listen to music, respond to messages, or even look at my phone until I’m done with “my time.”
4) What are your MUST HAVES in your carry-on when you're about to leave town on a big jet plane? I’m embarrassed to follow up with this answer after the previous question but my real only essentials are my laptop, iPad, and all the chargers! I forget about ½ of the things I need on the trip, but I’m convinced I subconsciously do that to keep trips interesting. However, I never forget my electronics! It’s a constant struggle to not forget the electronics, but then to ignore them- haha ;)
5) What is your favorite thing to do when you need some creative inspiration? I love talking to other people about ideas because it really gets the brain flowing and looking at a situation from a different perspective. Most of the time I will get together with someone here at Evolve. I hate to toot our own horn, but our team is amazing and they have better ideas than me!
6) What’s your best piece of advice for our younger generation when it comes to following your passion? Well my biggest advice to get ahead in life is to not have a sense of entitlement. You have to work hard to get the things you want. Somehow the younger kids that are now teens or early 20’s have been conditioned when they are growing up that “they can get anything they want” (which is a spin off of the phrase “you can do anything you want”). But the missing link is that you have to make those things happen. The universe isn’t going to give you something you feel like you deserve. Before starting Evolve, I always had 2-3 jobs, and if I wanted to learn something I’d offer to work somewhere for free. I didn’t expect to get paid, just the knowledge and experience was the payment. (I didn’t have financial support, so I would still work another hourly job to support myself). People notice if you have a genuine interest in things and I guarantee good things will come out of that.
7) Favorite yoga pose for chillin’ out? For chilling out? I love getting a block under my shoulder blades as a wonderful heart opener.
8) What’s the most recent inspirational book that you’ve read? I recently read GirlBoss (really connected to Sofia and the huge empire that she’s built). I loved reading it because she really spoke about ecommerce and the (un)glamorous side of starting a business. She painted a realistic picture of being cooped up in in her apartment in a big pink bathrobe for months on end barely talking to anyone. (That was totally me too!) My all time favorite business book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rynd- it’s quite a hefty read, but well worth it!
9) Do you have a nightly ritual that helps clear your mind for a restful sleep, creating a productive day to follow? Well, after dinner I always take my dog for a walk in the neighborhood, and then after that I make some tea and watch a show or two. It’s probably not as “healthy” as yoga or reading, but after a full day of staring at text on a computer, I need to do something less thought provoking. Right now I’m really into Homeland and Ray Donovan- they are sooo good!