It’s National Yoga Month, and You Can Participate! Tips and Health Benefits for Every Yoga Beginner!


Are you an expert at yoga? A master Yogi? No? Perfect!  For National Yoga Month, Capital Healthcare is exploring the basics of the yoga universe, and how it can help you achieve a healthier body, mind, and spirit, regardless of your location or work schedule!

 

For nurses and medical professionals, we know that scheduling daily workouts can certainly be a challenge!  With ever-changing shifts, and possibly even your location, committing to a particular class or gym can feel nearly impossible.  Maybe exercising at home hasn’t been a viable solution in the past, due to lack of equipment or space.  In all of these scenarios, yoga could become your new exercise solution!  Take a deep breath and read on to discover how to bring out your inner Yogi.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient teaching that has been in existence for over 5,000 and perhaps even 10,000 years!  Originating in India, it is much more complicated than a simple workout regimen.  According to the Yoga Health Foundation, it is a scientific system designed to generate greater clarity and harmony in life.  It focuses on positivity and getting in touch with your inner peace, rather than negatively focusing on the parts of your body that you’d like to change or “fix”.

When researching the history of yoga, you would find a very long and detailed journey spanning continents, cultures, and centuries.  To make a long story short – while yoga can be broken down into multiple styles and periods throughout time and around the world, the yoga we primarily identify with is actually referred to as Hatha Yoga.  “Ha” meaning sun, and “tha” meaning moon.  Although we just know it simply as “yoga,” Hatha Yoga started to become popular in the United States in the early twentieth century.  Since then, its popularity has steadily increased.  In fact, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, there are currently 36.7 million people practicing yoga in the United States!

Common Yoga Terminology

To get you started, here are some basic terms you might come across throughout your yoga journey.

Source (http://goo.gl/hdmzEq)

  • Yogi – a person who is proficient in yoga
  • Asanas – physical postures or poses
  • Guru – teacher or master
  • OM – thought to be the first sound of creation. Commonly chanted in a calming, meditative manner.
  • Pranayama – breath awareness to strengthen inner peace and awareness
  • Namaste (nah-mah-stay) – an expression said when meeting or parting
  • Mantra – sounds, syllables, or words that are repeated with the goal of creating a positive transformation
  • Meditation – focusing and calming the mind
  • Savasana – final relaxation

 

Why Practice Yoga?

So what do these 36.7 million people know that we don’t? Take a cleansing breath, give me an “om” and meditate on these 6 health benefits below.

  1. Pain Relief – Several studies have shown that people suffering from medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, hypertension, and ailments like chronic neck and back pain experienced a decrease in pain after practicing yoga and meditation.
  2. Stress Relief – Since yoga focuses on harmony and positivity, the fact that it also relieves stress is a no-brainer! Not only does the relaxing, meditative nature of yoga reduce mental stresses, like anxiety and depression, it helps reduce physical stress on the body as well. It reduces the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, and has also been known to lower blood pressure, improve overall digestion, and give your immunity a boost!
  3. Increased Strength – You use every muscle in the body when you practice different asanas or postures! This gives you added strength, decreased muscle tension, and a lot of calories burned in the process!
  4. Improved Circulation – When your body is bending and stretching into various yoga poses, your blood circulation improves, sending increased levels of oxygen to your body’s cells.
  5. Better Breathing – Yoga can help improve the functioning of your lungs as your breathing slows down and deepens. This helps you relax, and also gives your body more oxygen to work with!
  6. Inner Peace – Not only is yoga good for the body, but it’s also good for the mind and soul as well. Many people have embraced the meditative aspect of yoga, finding a sense of calm and satisfaction within themselves both emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes you just need some quiet time to refocus and recharge, and yoga gives you the perfect opportunity for exactly that.

Is Yoga for Me?

It’s a given that yoga pants may just be one of the most comfortable articles of clothing known to man, but how many of us actually do yoga while wearing them? Naturally, many of us need a little push to try something new, and watching experienced yoga doers (or yog-ers, as I like to call them) with their fancy yoga accessories and props can be intimidating!  However, all you need to get started is stretchy, comfortable clothing, a mat (It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! You can find them for $5 or less at many retailers), and a positive, open mind!

If you’re a travel nurse, or just prefer at-home-workouts, all you need is some space on your floor, and a computer, tablet, or smartphone to stream free yoga videos online! (Download our resource guide below for helpful links!) Don’t be afraid of what you can’t do – just focus on increasing your strength, flexibility, and finding that deep breath of relaxation in this hectic, crazy world.

Take it from my long-time friend and yoga instructor-in-training, Bre DeMott (pictured below).  “What I love most about yoga is how universal it is—anyone, anywhere can do yoga at any time,” Bre says, “It is so much more than physical poses.  Simply being aware of your breath and thoughts, observing the position and movement of your body, and even being kind to others—that’s doing yoga.”

Bre began her yoga journey roughly four years ago, and hasn’t looked back since.  If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, you can catch her doing yoga multiple times a week, and working towards her 200 hours of instructor training at the Stray Dog Yoga Studio.  Who knows, you might even be her student someday!

Do you have any questions or additional advice about starting yoga?  Comment below – we would love to hear from you! Oh, and most importantly…namaste!

Do you have any additional tips or advice regarding emergency planning? Comment below—we would love to hear from you!

Free Download: Resources for National Yoga Month

Are you a Registered Nurse (RN), Therapist, or other healthcare professional looking for your next exciting opportunity?

 

Capital Healthcare has rewarding positions for Med/Surg RNs, ICU RNs, OR RNs, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and many other specialties in amazing destinations throughout the country!

 

Please contact us today and learn how we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

 

Author: Michelle Adams

Posted by Michelle Adams on Sep 16, 2016 10:27:00 AM
Michelle Adams, Advertising and Social Media Specialist for Capital Healthcare Solutions and Harmony Home Healthcare, enjoys life in Southwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and beloved dog.

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