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The Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Sep 18, 2007
What will make you stay in your current job? Aside from the merits of financial rewards, opportunities of growth, good working conditions and a pleasurable environment exuded by co-workers, office perks, such as yoga, is a welcome addition that makes most Americans stay put on their jobs.

Getting a massage or a yoga break in the workplace is the newest way of most employers to encourage workers to stay on, make them more competitive and productive and have a happy lifestyle. It is said that this new perk has better rewards than having a cigarette or coffee break. It motivates employees and makes them glow throughout the day that they are able to handle great pressure with grace.

With all the proclaimed benefits of yoga, employers are willing to shell out more money just to continue giving this perk to its employees regularly. The popularity of practicing yoga is founded in a statistical figure; about 47 million Americans are enjoying the benefits of yoga in a whole year round. This is quite an increase of two million from the previous year.

Aside from the figure, research also shows that yoga practices have anti-stress benefits - reduces tension and fatigue. Furthermore, people who are undergoing massage therapy regularly are more alert, fast and accurate in calculating math problems.

Yoga is the coming together and oneness of body and mind. It is the consolidation of the movement (positions) and the breathing that makes the body tense and relax leading to the calmness of mind and spirit. Effectively done, it makes your whole being refreshed and rejuvenated. Yoga also gives you the ability to shut the noises of the world and get yourself into a trance of silence and solitude.

If you are thinking of starting a healthy lifestyle brought about by yoga, then you must know the essentials of practicing yoga.

1. The important thing you have to remember in practicing yoga is the regularity and it should be continuous. There is no rule of what is the best time to do it but almost all say that morning is the best time of the day. You only practice yoga once within 24 hours and it only requires a starter to do it for 15 minutes everyday until you increased it to a maximum of one hour.
2. In practicing yoga, choose a place that is clean, neat and airy. If you can practice regularly, be sure to do it at the same place everyday and alone.
3. Always remember in order to achieve good results, yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach or two hours after you had your food intake.
4. In between asanas, relax for six to eight seconds. Rest should be incorporated in your yoga practice at least ¼th of the session.
5. During your practice, ensure proper hygiene and best physical condition. Avoid yoga if you are experiencing fatigue and excessive physical pain. Do not take too much coffee and tea before your yoga session.
6. While practicing, try not to think of worries, problematic situations and personal issues. Shut off your anxieties and be relaxed.
7. Avoid practicing yoga during your menstrual period. If pregnant, you should take proper care during your yoga practice and do it only moderately.

There is no money involved in practicing yoga. A nice and quite place in one corner of your house will do and make your clothing light and comfortable so you can easily move and do the positions correctly. But you may want to invest on some of the equipment that you might need as you progress like:

- non-slip mat
- cotton or wool blanket
- wooden or foam block or a phone book
- chair with arm rests
- strap or belt

As you continue on and develop a habit of practicing yoga everyday, you may also want to monitor yourself if you are following the rules and doing the right thing. After all, you do not want to get it all wrong and waste your sweat and achieve nothing. You may want to check your practices against the five known principles of yoga.

1. Proper relaxation - release all the tension in your muscles and try to put the whole of your body at rest. In this way, you are revitalizing your central nervous system making you experience inner peace, feel refreshed and relaxed.
2. Proper exercise - this principle believes that your body is meant to exercise and move. Postures achieved during the yoga sessions exercise the body thus improving the flexibility of the joints and the spine and facilitates blood circulation well. These exercises help the body to relax, reenergize and rejuvenate.
3. Proper breathing - in the yoga practice, it is important to coordinate breathing with your movements to achieve correct posture and for the exercise to be effective. Proper way of breathing should be slow, deep and rhythmical.
4. Proper diet - a well-balanced diet facilitates your yoga practice and helps you achieve your desired results. Food nourishes both mind and body so that they can function well and remain in proper working condition. Practicing good eating habits and eating only when hungry will make your body light, achieve calmness of the mind and will build a strong immune system.
5. Positive thinking and meditation - it is better to have a good outlook in life and exude an aura of positiveness and solitude. This will help you to better control your mind thus setting aside all the negative thoughts and worthless feelings you may harbor.

Yoga gives the best results when you strictly follow the rules and its principles. In a life full of chaos, like most people, you want to maintain your refreshing and positive attitude about life and yourself. This can be, perhaps, the only you will survive in this complex world.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://yoga.health-webzone.com where you can learn more about different types of yoga .
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