Healthy Mind + Body= Happy

23 August

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Everyone who has taken a Mind/Body class has touted they feel better, more rested and even happier when it is finished. However, new research proves this is not just an opinion, but also actually a fact. Down dogs literally help turn your frown upside down!

Yoga is a popular and well-known mind/body practice. Many yogis have made claims that they have experienced improved mood and well being, according How to Use herbs, Nutrients & Yoga in Mental Health Care. The book explains that yoga, “reduces anxiety, over activity, and sleep difficulties.” It helps people “learn how to master anxiety through self-soothing,” which they say often leads to reduced dependence on therapy or medication. Furthermore, the different methods of meditation have helped with reductions in insomnia, negative thoughts, pain, and stress reduction.

Also, according to studies, yoga appears to have a positive effect on medicated ADHD and Schizophrenia patients, sleep disorders, and mild depression. Yoga has been shown to increase serotonin levels by affecting neurotransmitters, thereby creating an antidepressant-like effect similar to pharmaceuticals and psychotherapeutic treatments. Yoga also decreases fats in the blood, growth factors, oxidative stress, and levels of inflammation.

One technique used in yoga that is applied to all positions is coherent or simultaneous breathing.  It is safe for all ages and individuals with health conditions, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Happy Yoga Workout

Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths repeat if you still need a boost of happiness!

1) Child’s Pose 

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What it does: Relieves stress and fatigue as it stretches the lower back and hips

Soften your breath by taking 5 to 10 long, deep inhalations and exhalations.

2) Cobra Pose, modified

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What it does: Boosts energy and mood as it strengthens the back of the body

3) Downward-Facing Dog Pose

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What it does: Reduces fatigue and focuses the mind as it strengthens and stretches most of the body

4) Warrior I Pose

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What it does: Eases stress and anxiety as it strengthens the legs and core

5) Reverse Warrior Pose

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What it does: Energizes the body and focuses a scattered mind while stretching and strengthening the legs and abs

6) Bridge Pose

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What it does: Boosts mood and mitigates anxiety while increasing the flexibility of the spine

7) Supported Corpse Pose  

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What it does: Relaxes tension and rejuvenates both the body and mind

1. Place a folded blanket, bolster, or firm pillow either lengthwise behind you or across your mat so that when you lie back it hits you under the tip of your shoulder blades, your mid-back.

2. Then lie back, letting your body sink into and open around the support. End in a supported pose on your back with a folded blanket under the length of the spine to help arch the upper and middle back, and lengthen the lower back.

3. Move your arms a comfortable distance away from your body and anything else around you. Turn your palms to face up.

4. Separate your legs a natural distance apart. Relax your feet and let them roll open.

5. Finally, do a mental scan from head to toe: Where are you holding tension? Release it from every part of your body—including your heart and head.

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