Yoga for Renewal

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits.  Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas.  They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well.  Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation.  But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways.

When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast.  That makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or “tight” to do yoga.   The truth is,  you’re never too old to improve flexibility.  The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles.  This may release the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use, which may cause stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue.  In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints.  It may also increase lubrication in the joints.  The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.

Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body.  That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles.  No matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time.  I myself have been practicing yoga for 12 years & I can attest to its benefits, not only have I experienced an increase in flexibility but also an increase in fluidity which is very helpful for me as a dancer.  I also feel that the practice of yoga has helped me improve my overall health.

Yoga does not only help with flexibility, it can also help to build strength as well.  Styles of yoga such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others, practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone.

But even less vigorous styles of yoga, such as Iyengar or hatha, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits.

With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture.  Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength.  That’s because you’re counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose.  With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand “tall”.  There are so many benefits to the practice of yoga is no wonder more and more people are open to follow a yoga routine for exercise.

At the Women’s Health & Fitness Expo Patricia Laufer & Tara McIndoo will be having a workshop about the benefits of yoga.  In this workshop Patricia and Tara will combine movement and theory, using Yoga poses and Ayurvedic principles.

Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India.  Ayurvedic practitioners approach diagnosis by using all five senses.  Hearing is used to observe the condition of breathing and speech.   Ayurvedic doctors regard physical and mental existence together with personality as a unit, each element having the capacity to influence the others.

According to Ayurveda, it is ‘pitta’ or the body heat that allows body metabolism to work normally.  In order to emerge from our sedentary Winter ways, we need to create heat and an environment of detoxification in all areas of our lives.  Patricia & Tara will be showing us how to accomplish this by the use of yoga.  Yoga for Renewal will help participants prepare for a new Spring.


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