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What is Yoga?

Yoga is the implementation of breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation to clear one’s mind and strengthen the body. There are hundreds of different types of yoga; however, many people only practice a few of them. Many doctors recommend this for patients to strengthen their bodies and relieve pain. Read below for Expert answered questions. 

Types of Yoga

There are so many different types of yoga some people find it hard to choose which one is best for them. There is yoga for men, women, children, pregnant women. Some focus on strength, while others focus on flexibility or opening up your mind. You can find relaxing or more intense poses; some will make you sweat, while others help you focus on calming your body and mind. Any type of yoga you choose will increase your strength and flexibility eventually.

Yoga Benefits

Many doctors suggest yoga as a means of preventative medicine which will teach the body to heal itself. For patients with chronic pain, this is an alternative to pain medication which has a lot of side effects to go with it. A few more benefits are listed below:

  • You will begin to notice more flexibility in your muscles and joints.
  • You will become stronger and more tone.
  • Breathing will become easier along with increased energy.
  • Your metabolism should begin to balance out, in turn causing weight loss or maintaining weight.
  • Your heart and blood circulation will improve with consistent exercising.
  • The risk of injury lessens greatly with more flexibility and strength.

Along with these, there are mental benefits one will begin to notice. Learning the breathing and meditation techniques teaches a person how to be calm. This will in turn help manage stress and find a positive outlook on life.

Yoga Therapy

Physical therapist or rehabilitation therapists use yoga as a therapy exercise. However, this is different from the normal class-like setting. If a person has an injury and tries to do the wrong kind of yoga for therapy they could end up with a worse injury than when they started. Most therapists will start with stretching exercises and possibly just breathing techniques depending on the severity of the patient’s health. There is no set requirement for how many training or study hours a therapist must have before treating patients, so choosing one may be difficult. It is best to find a therapist who has extensive knowledge about the disease or injury you have before beginning training. It might be beneficial to ask around; word of mouth is usually the best way to find the right therapist.

Yoga Side Effects

When practicing yoga properly, side effects are rare. The most common side effect is physical injury. This usually occurs when poses are not done correctly or there is no warm up before and after a workout. In other rare cases, stroke or nerve damage can occur. It is always recommended to speak with your doctor before beginning any workout. This is especially true if you are pregnant, on medications or your health is not in good condition. 

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