International Yoga Day

Doing a split on a split rock in Greece

This month, I had the chance to practice yoga internationally in Greece. My friend, Robyn lives on the island of Ikaria. While I was visiting, she took me up to the Pezi region, the highest plateau on the island, to show me the incredible rock formations, practice yoga and take some photos. Today happens to be International Yoga Day, a perfect time to celebrate yoga and that special day we had together.

The scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health. – National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Research on yoga and wellness

Studies have suggested that yoga benefits several aspects of wellness including: stress management, mental/emotional health, promoting healthy eating/activity habits, sleep, and balance. Yoga can reduce the impact of stress responses and increase relaxation response. Adding yoga stretching and breathing into a wellness routine may be an appealing way of controlling both anxiety and depression.

Yoga increases endurance and lowers blood pressure. It is now being included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs due to its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits. There is also evidence that doing yoga helps increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress with more resilience.

Working on my split with a quad stretch in Ikaria, Greece

The fitness benefits of yoga are numerous. It’s a wonderful modality for improving back health and alleviating low back pain. Yoga also lubricates the joints and promotes strong, flexible muscles. These are all wonderful things I want to invite into my life. How about you?

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness work out. 

Best in health, Linda

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. – Psalm 36:5

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