A yoga therapist can work with patients and put together individualized plans that work together with their medical and surgical therapies. That way, yoga can support the healing process and help the person experience symptoms with more centeredness and less distress.
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.Try it: Cat-Cow PoseGet on all fours, placing your palms underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. First, inhale, as you let your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then, exhale, as you draw your navel toward your spine, arching your spine like a cat stretching.
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.Try it: Downward Dog PoseGet on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.
Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during one-on-one sessions loneliness is reduced as one is acknowledged as a unique individual, being listened to and participating in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.
Yoga is about creating balance, strength, flexibility and relaxation in the body through a series of postures, movements and breathing patterns. As something I have practiced for 13 years now, the benefits of yoga for physical fitness outlined below are some of the reasons I stuck with my yoga practice all these years.
In addition to yoga poses that work your core, such as Plank and Chaturanga, you can target the abdominal muscles to give you a more toned and trim tummy by engaging the core in standing balance poses.
What about yoga and weight loss Most types of yoga are not as effective as traditional forms of cardio (i.e. running, cycling etc) in terms of calorie-burning. But yoga can increase mindfulness as you become more acutely aware of your own body: people can become more aware of how much they are eating and make better food choices.
Yoga can be an ideal method of warming up/down when taking part in other sports and, more importantly, a great tool for recovery post-injury. If you decide to take up yoga as a tool for injury rehabilitation, then you should seek a Yoga Therapist and consult your doctor beforehand.
When practiced safely and/or with a credible teacher, the risk of injury in yoga is significantly less in comparison to other forms of exercise. In fact, yoga has proven to be beneficial in the healing process of injuries, such as repetitive strain and many others.
Gentle movement also increases blood flow to the injured area, which carries nutrients and removes toxins to/from the injury site, therefore assisting the healing process more effectively. And if those last few sentences bored you to tears, all you need to know is that footballers such as David Beckham and Ryan Giggs have used yoga to help keep them fit enough to play top-level football past their 40s.
When looking to start a yoga practice post-injury, speak to your doctor or therapist to ensure it is suitable for you to start a practice. Then, consider whether you would like to join a general class or work one-to-one with a yoga therapist. And as with any yoga class, always, always inform your yoga teacher of your injury and restrictions before the class starts so you can practice safely.
While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
The present randomized controlled trial assessed the effects of yoga or physical exercise on physical fitness, cognitive performance, self-esteem, and teacher-rated behavior and performance, in school children.
Schools have an important role in the development of children by identifying those with low physical fitness and by promoting health behaviors such as encouraging children to be active . The most obvious benefits of physical exercise in children are improvements in physical fitness, which was shown in a study on 57 children . Following seven weeks of exercise there were improvements in a fitness test, agility, counter movement jump test, sprint, systolic blood pressure, the fitness test, and fat percentage reduction.
A similar benefit has been demonstrated in other studies as well . Apart from physical fitness there is evidence  that exercise influences cognitive function. A positive relationship between physical activity and cognitive and academic performance in school aged children was reported in a meta-analysis . Also aerobic fitness in children is associated with higher measures of neuroelectric responsiveness (P3 in brain evoked potentials), faster cognitive processing speed  and better performance in a test of executive control .
In the preceding paragraphs, the benefits of physical exercise for physical fitness and cognition were described in pre-adolescents. Physical exercise is also associated with a positive effect on depression, anxiety, mood, self-esteem and higher academic performance . These findings were supported by a study on 540 elementary school children , who were randomly assigned to a physical exercise program or a control condition during one academic year. Sub-population analysis showed that physical exercise had a positive effect on psycho-social Quality of Life (QoL) especially in urban and over-weight students. There was little effect of the physical exercise program on QoL overall.
A study was conducted in 31 children between 7 and 12 years, who had bronchial asthma . Sixteen children were assigned to a yoga program and 15 to a control group. Yoga was practiced three times per week for 7 weeks. Compared to the control group, the yoga group showed favorable outcomes in terms of muscular strength and endurance. After 2 weeks of home practice, yoga continued to improve BMI, flexibility, muscular strength and cardio-pulmonary fitness. Hence these two studies suggest the benefits of yoga in improving physical fitness in children.
In the present study assessments were selected to simultaneously evaluate (i) physical fitness with the Eurofit fitness test battery , (ii) cognitive mechanisms related to attentional vitality and flexibility and volitional control over the neuropsychological functions which are involved in both word and color naming responses using the Stroop task and (iii) self-esteem, as a study conducted on children in India demonstrated that low self esteem is associated with several other mal-adaptations .
Previously both yoga and physical exercise have been separately found to influence the physical fitness, cognitive functioning and emotional wellbeing. Yoga and physical exercise differ in three main ways, since yoga practice places an emphasis on (i) breath awareness, (ii) regulated breathing, and (iii) conscious relaxation . Hence the present randomized controlled trial aimed to compare the effects of yoga with those of physical exercise on physical fitness, cognitive functions and self-esteem.
Hence the hypothesis of the present study was that physical fitness, cognitive functions and self-esteem would change with yoga and with physical exercise, though the changes could be different based on the differences between the two, cited above when both interventions were separately included in the school day and children were followed up over a three month period.
The participants were assessed for (i) physical fitness, (ii) performance in the Stroop task, (iii) self-esteem and (iv) analog scales, rated by the teachers. The primary outcome measures were (i) the Eurofit physical fitness test battery, (ii) the Stroop color-word naming task, and (iii) self-esteem. The secondary outcome measures were the teacher- reported (a) obedience, (b) academic performance, (c) attention, (d) punctuality, (e) behavior with friends, and (f) behavior with teachers.
Interventions were given for three months for five days in a week and on each day the participants practiced either yoga or physical exercise for 45 minutes. Yoga practice involved pranayamas (yoga breathing techniques), sithilikarna vyayama (loosening exercises), asanas (physical postures), chanting and yoga relaxation techniques. Details of the yoga practice are given in Table 2.
Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVA) followed by post-hoc analyses with Bonferroni adjustment (corrected Bonferroni value of 0.025) were done to compare data after the two interventions with data recorded before the two interventions, using PASW Version 18.0. There was one Within subjects factor i.e., States (pre and post) and one Between subjects factor i.e., Groups (yoga and physical exercise).
The ANOVA values for the Within-Subjects factor (States), Between-Subjects factor (Groups) and interaction between the two for the different variables for physical fitness, cognitive function, self-esteem and analog scales are provided in Tables 8, 9, 10 and 11 respectively. A significant interaction between Groups and States for any variable suggests that the two are interdependent. Groups * States interaction was significant for plate tapping and color T scores. This significant interaction has been graphically presented in Figures 2 and 3.
There was only one significant difference between the groups in social self-esteem which was higher in the physical exercise group and all other differences were not significant. Other differences mentioned were post-pre comparisons within a group. 153554b96e