Like many people, you probably made one or more resolutions for the New Year. After all, the prospect of changing for the better by letting go of the old and embracing the new can be very appealing. It's easy to get caught up in it – sometimes too easy. As you probably know from past experience, the most difficult part is making those well-intentioned resolutions stick. You might be surprised to learn that yoga can help.
An ancient discipline that is widely used for health and relaxation purposes, yoga incorporates controlled movements, gentle stretches and diaphragmatic breathing techniques. The practice is known for strengthening the connection between the mind and the body and for bringing on a variety of wellness benefits, including a renewed sense of mental strength and resolve. This is precisely the mindset you need to keep your New Year's resolutions. As you achieve a sense of balance, you will naturally shed negative thoughts and behaviors and feel more prepared to take on new challenges, whether those challenges are physical, mental or emotional.
Right now, you might be thinking about your track record and shaking your head. Maybe you've resolved to participate in fitness programs before, only to find that, for whatever reason, you were unable to maintain your dedication. The fact is, when it comes to working out, life often gets in the way. Also, it can take time to see results, and frankly, exercise can become boring in the meantime. How can you expect yoga to be any different from your prior good intentions, many of which you began with gusto at the start of a year, only to abandon them well before the first day of spring?
One reason that you're more likely to stick with yoga is that is doesn't require a big commitment. There are many ways that you can fit it into your life without having to travel to an intimidating studio full of beautiful people clad in the latest yoga wear, or juggle family and work responsibilities to carve one to two precious hours out of your busy day. Because any amount of yoga "counts," you won't have to participate in a formal class or dedicate a significant block of time each day in order to achieve benefits. You can practice yoga virtually anywhere, on a schedule that works best for you, and see progress relatively quickly.
Also, while yoga can be very effective, it is also considered to be generally safe. In fact, the experts at Laser Spine Institute sometimes recommend yoga as a complementary treatment for patients who are seeking relief from neck or back pain. However, before you begin, it's a good idea to consult with a physician just to make sure that yoga is appropriate for you.
If you've received a green light from a physician and you're interested in giving yoga a try, one easy way to get started is to practice Laser Spine Institute's Seven-Day Yoga Challenge. This simple but well-rounded program incorporates a series of seven effective poses that are suitable for almost anyone, including beginners, and full descriptions and instructions are available online. Each day, you can try a new pose, such as...
· Child's pose
· Downward-facing dog
· Cobra pose
· Warrior II
· Seated twist
· Chair pose
· Tree pose
These poses can be performed in any order and are easily incorporated into a more extensive program. Try to practice at least one a day to enhance your sense of ritual and establish a habit. To gradually increase the intensity of your workout, you can hold the positions for increasingly longer periods of time. Also, if you use social media, you may want to post photos of your poses on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to share your experiences and connect with others.
Among other things, the regular practice of yoga can help you achieve the fortitude you need to better yourself. You can rely on this strength any time you feel tempted to ditch your New Year's resolutions, whether you're being lured by a new pair of pricey designer shoes, a slice of warm pecan pie topped with ice cream, or an urge to hit the snooze button instead of the gym. Give it a try, and you might find that you've turned a page in your life and adopted a healthier perspective that endures throughout 2016 and beyond.
Spine-Exercises.com is a website dedicated to sharing spine health, back pain, and post-surgical exercise tips. You can find videos with tutorials for effective body mechanics to help in post-surgical recovery processes. Twitter, Facebook
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