Yoga and serious illness – Crossing the Generation Gap

November 12, 2012

Yoga and serious illness - Crossing the Generation Gap

Yoga has long been recognised as a genuine relaxation method, which improves physical fitness and general well-being and this is because yoga:

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Improves heart rate

  • Lowers body temperature

  • Encourages deep breathing

  • Controls brain waves

Various studies have been carried out which show that practising yoga may be helpful when treating serious illness such as cancer and heart disease and other sell serious conditions such as migraine, high blood pressure and asthma where relaxation is an important part of prevention and treatment.

Drug addicts and alcoholics in rehabilitation are also thought to benefit from yoga as it is an exercise regime which focuses the mind. As yoga also relieves anxiety, depression and stress, many people with these problems benefit enormously.

A clinical trial on lymphoma patients concluded that those who practiced yoga over a seven week period slept more soundly, experienced less sleep disturbance and got to sleep a lot faster than the patients who didn’t do any yoga.

Can anyone practice yoga?

Everyone can do some type of yoga from Grandparents to children, although there are some postures which have to be avoided by certain groups of people.

  • Pregnant Women – Should avoid positions that put pressure on the uterus or vigorous workouts such as those in bikram yoga.

  • Glaucoma suffers should avoid headstands, as this adds pressure in the eyes.

  • Overstretching should be avoided by arthritis sufferers and those people with heart disease as this can damage joints and ligaments.

Beginners to yoga should start off with simple postures and deep breathing exercises so as to increase the oxygen supply to the body. Yoga benefits flexibility, movement and general well-being because it relaxes both the body and mind and relieves the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Some simple yoga positions

Forward bending pose – (to stretch your spine)

  • Sit on the floor

  • Bend forward

  • Clasp your toes, keeping your legs straight

  • Keep the position for up to a minute

Mountain pose

  • Stand up with feet slightly apart

  • Slowly raise your arms in the air

  • When your arms are above your head clasp your hands together and stretch

Shoulder shrugs

  • Sit on the floor

  • Cross your legs

  • Slowly shrug your shoulders

Yoga is also a good thing to teach your children, it has some wonderful benefits;

  • Teaches children to concentrate

  • Teaches them to keep calm

  • Teaches them control

  • Teaches them discipline

  • Raises self-esteem

  • Strengthens their bodies

  • Uses their imagination

  • Improves balance and co-ordination

So as you can see yoga is for everyone and can include the whole family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, mum and dad and sisters and brothers, Don’t let the fact that you have cancer or any other serious illness stop you from receiving the benefits that yoga provides.

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