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I follow a ton of yoga Instagram accounts because I love being inspired to continue my practice so that one day I can actually do all those incredible asanas.
Since my issue lately is not being consistent with my practice, I'm so excited to start the May Yoga Challenge hosted by beachyogagirl on Instagram! MicheMay 1, 2014 at 7:33 AMI absolutely LOVE yoga, I totally agree, it really is for the mind body and soul. The Eastern practice of yoga has become a modern-day symbol of peace, serenity and well-being in the West. The mind-body practice is frequently touted for its ability to reduce stress and boost well-being, but it also offers wide-ranging physical health benefits that rival other forms of exercise.
Just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga -- an ancient form of the practice that emphasizes physical postures rather than flow or sequences -- can improve cognitive function, boosting focus and working memory. Yoga's stress-busting powers may come from its ability to lessen the activity of proteins that are known to play a role in inflammation, according to a study published last year from University of California, Los Angeles researchers. A small Norwegian study suggested that yoga's many healthy benefits might come from its ability to alter gene expression in immune cells. A recent Colorado State University study found that Bikram yoga -- a form of yoga in which a series of 26 postures are performed for 90 minutes in a heated room -- is linked with increased shoulder, lower back and hamstring flexibility, as well as greater deadlift strength and decreased body fat, compared with a control group.
People with mild to moderate hypertension might benefit from a yoga practice, as a study from University of Pennsylvania researchers found that it could help to lower their blood pressure levels. A small 2000 Ball State University study found that practicing Hatha yoga for 15 weeks could significantly increase vital lung capacity, which is the maximum amount of air exhaled after taking a deep breath.
A 2009 Harvard study published in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that yoga could boost arousal, desire, orgasm and general sexual satisfaction for women.
A German study published in The Journal of Pain showed that four weeks of practicing Iyengar yoga (a type of Hatha yoga that stresses proper alignment and the use of props) is effective in reducing pain intensity in adults suffering from chronic neck pain. A 2010 Boston University study showed that 12 weeks of yoga could help to reduce anxiety and increase gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain (low levels of GABA have been linked with depression and anxiety disorders).

Researchers at West Virginia University found Iyengar Yoga to be more effective in reducing pain and improving mood than standard medical treatment among those with chronic lower back problems.
Adding yoga to a typical diabetes care regimen could result in steady blood sugar levels, according to a 2011 Diabetes Care study. Practicing an Iyengar yoga program designed for older adults was found to improve balance and help prevent falls in women over 65, according to a 2008 Temple University study. Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found an association between a regular yoga practice and decreased weight -- or at least a maintained weight -- among more than 15,000 healthy, middle-aged adults. As part of a healthy lifestyle, yoga may lower cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, according to Harvard Health Publications. This story appears in Issue 83 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Jan.
To perform the sequence, stand up straight in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with the feet together and arms at the side of the body with open palms. We hate having ads on our website, but they're the sponsors who help pay our expensive web server bills every month. Usually our advertisers are the sponsors who help pay our expensive web server bills every month.
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I'm pretty sure I'm practicing "poses" that aren't really technically poses—I just make them up. I'm working on my headstand right now, and I'm baffled at what my body is actually capable of.
What's special about this month's challenge, and what's actually making me do it, is that it's meant for beginners. If you plan on doing the challenge, let me know what your Instagram is so I can follow along with you!

I will *try to take part in this challenge (right now I do yoga about once a week but I really want to start getting more into it! More than 20 million Americans practice yoga, according to the 2012 Yoga in America study, with practitioners spending more than $10 billion a year on yoga-related products and classes. While the scientific research on yoga's health benefits is still young, here's what we know so far about its potential effects on the body. In a University of Illinois study, participants performed significantly better on tests of brain functioning after yoga, as compared to their performance after 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. Yoga can also improve women's sex lives by helping them to become more familiar with their own bodies, according to a review of studies published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, as reported by CNN. Reuters reported that just three months of yoga in addition to diabetes care resulted in a decrease in body mass index, as well as no increases in blood sugar levels. But the one thing I've learned with yoga is that you're supposed to just listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs, what it wants.
So that's kind of how I've been practicing yoga—just going with the flow, feeling the moment.
The more frequent you practice, the better you'll become and the more changes you will see your body go through—a transformation that will surprise many of you. If you've been thinking about starting yoga, this is a great opportunity to finally get around to it. I've attended a few classes, and they were fun and really helpful and all, but now I just do it on my own.

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Comments to «Starting yoga meditation»

  1. Sheyla
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