Some people need a life coach. Others need Yoga. Many might need both. Yoga is a powerful, transformative, 5,000 year old practice with origins in India that can unite the mind, body and spirit. There are many schools and philosophies of yoga to choose from, depending on your capabilities and what you want to get out of the discipline. Yoga can build strength, improve flexibility, increase circulation and even prevent injuries.
Among the many benefits of yoga, one of the most important is its natural ability to heal injuries. Restorative yoga or Yin (gentle yoga) is perfect for people who are new to yoga and suffering from some sort of injury. This particular discipline is different from the more traditional forms of yoga because all the poses with Yin are done on the floor using only pillows, blankets and gravity.
Gravity works with you because the poses in restorative yoga are held a little bit longer than usual, ranging anywhere from 3-10 minutes. Gravity does all the work, because there will absolutely be no flexing of the muscles for the duration of the poses. All you need to do is breathe deeply and get as much oxygen as you can to flood your body, improving circulation and promoting healing. Gentle yoga is a great way to relieve stress and tension in the body as it is less taxing than the other forms of yoga that have difficult standing poses and inversions.
Healing Injured Muscles
Muscle injuries are a common occurrence especially in athletes and those active in sports. There are many ways to treat and rehabilitate an injury, and one of them is by doing yoga. For those who don’t want to rush things, yoga is the perfect choice for slowly healing an injured muscle. Yoga’s meditative approach to healing gently nurses the muscles back to health, allowing it to naturally reach peak form slowly. Many athletes often rush back from an injury, only to aggravate it because the muscles were not healed enough.
Yoga as a discipline demands patience and balance. You have to be able to balance properly and be patient when you hold the poses. Breathing and getting as much oxygen as you can into your body is also important, because red blood cells carrying more oxygen promotes faster healing due to better circulation. Your muscles and organs need nutrient-rich oxygenated blood for repair and the only way to get it is by deep breathing, which yoga promotes with every pose.
Yoga can help with Brain Injuries
Yoga is often used to help patients with TBI or traumatic brain injuries and even soldiers coming home from war with multiple concussions. TBI’s and concussions share the same symptoms such as mood swings, memory loss, headaches, vision problems and even sleeplessness. People who have suffered TBI’s have lost the ability to naturally shut off (their brains) and they usually have 100 thoughts running around their heads at any given moment. For soldiers, they feel that they’re still at war and have to be on high alert at all times. Practicing yoga can help calm the brain and promote healing throughout the body by way of meditation. Meditating brings the patients calm and a respite from all the runaway thoughts that bring them more stress as the body calms and relaxes. All the symptoms improve with continuous yoga practice, and patients are encouraged to continue doing yoga for as long as possible to avoid a re-occurrence of symptoms.
Practicing the ancient art of Yoga brings many benefits. Aside from being more aware of your body, mind and spirit, yoga also promotes better health healing and inner calm. Choose a yoga class like gentle or restorative yoga if you’re new to the practice and if you have nagging injuries you want to heal.