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Originally published January 20 2011

Enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga

by Elizabeth Walling

(NaturalNews) Yoga is no longer just for New Age gurus. Practicing yoga offers so many positive benefits for the young and old, that it has become mainstream. Some might even say that the benefits (physical, emotional and spiritual) are so far-reaching, it should be part of physical education in schools and a more common practice in corporate environments. However, to newbies yoga may still seem mysterious and even daunting. But don't let your misgivings prevent you from enjoying all of the incredible benefits yoga has to offer.

Being an ancient art, the benefits of yoga are actually very well documented. Relaxation, improved flexibility, better concentration, better balance, increased lung capacity, spiritual/emotional sense of well-being and better relationships are all cited.
Here are just some of the benefits you can receive from practicing yoga on a regular basis:

- Lower blood pressure
- Healthy pulse rate
- Better circulation
- Stronger immunity
- Detoxification
- Improved posture
- Better sleep
- Healthy libido
- Better mood
- Improved concentration
- Better memory and cognitive functions
- Healthy cholesterol profile
- Boosts lymphatic health
- Increases vitamin C in the body
- Boosts red cell production
- Improves muscle tone
- Increased mobility
- Improved hand-eye coordination
- Enhanced reaction time
- Increases GABA production
- Combats insulin resistance

Moreover, for those who suffer from chronic or progressive, debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, cancer, muscular dystrophy, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, scoliosis, epilepsy, back pain, allergies and even obsessive-compulsive disorder, these can be treated or managed successfully using yoga techniques.

If all that isn`t enough, there`s evidence that practicing yoga in groups forges strong social bonds and a sense of community and friendship. The psychological benefits are just as real and just as vital for physical health and longevity.

Tips for Beginners

For those of you who are, as yet, uninitiated, here are a few pointers on getting started in yoga. The positions used in yoga each day are called asanas, and should be practiced regularly, even daily. Although yoga can be used to get a more aerobic workout, at times, in general each pose or movement is done slowly and with relaxed concentration. Most exercises are more about stretching and breathing than gymnastics (although you will get more flexible and your endurance will improve considerably with regular sessions). Practicing with soothing or meditation music can really enhance your overall experience.

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About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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