Beach Yoga

About Hatha Yoga

"The word yoga is classically translated as "union." It is a drawing together of heart, mind and body that integrates all the parts of ourselves into a unified whole. Just as a team performs at its best when all the members line up behind a common goal, we will be at our best when every part of ourselves is in alignment with every other part. We are happiest when we are following our hearts and doing what we really love. In essence, when we bring our hearts, minds, and bodies into alignment, we step into the flow of grace that is yoga. The journey of yoga is an inward search to find the very best within us and then to learn to express that every day in our bodies, minds, & hearts.

The documented medical benefits of yoga include increased strength and stamina, relief of stress and anxiety, and lowered blood pressure. Most students find that they feel better with a regular practice of yoga in their lives. Whether you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, heal an old injury, or increase your flexibility, you will find the grace of yoga to be filled with rich traditions and meaning that can enhance your quality of life. And do not measure your success in yoga by how well you are able to do a particular pose. Just enjoy the ride. For with yoga, as with any worthwhile undertaking, the joy is in the journey, not the destination."

Quoted from Hatha Yoga: Illustrated by Martin Kirk & Brooke Boon

 

 

Beach Yoga Tadasana

About Kripalu Yoga

“Hatha Yoga works on the muscular-skeletal systems as well as the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, immune & nervous systems.  The regular practice of hatha yoga has been shown to produce physical benefits including reduced anxiety, stress and blood pressure levels, and increased relaxation, flexibility, strength, endurance, and energy levels.  Yoga classes, which approaches hatha yoga practices in the spirit of exploration and discovery, uses the body as a vehicle for objective self-observation and spiritual attunement.  A practice of this depth can have profound effects on the mind and emotions as well as the physical body.  As mental and emotional disturbances surface, are experienced and allowed to dissolve, tremendous amounts of prana (life force) are released to affect healing on all levels.

Yoga is a tool for self-empowerment and personal growth.  The practice teaches you to tap into your own inner-knowing rather than being dependent upon guidance from external authorities.  You learn to be open to what others have to offer without giving away your powers to intuit, reason, discriminate and make your own decisions.  At the same time, you are also establishing an intimate and nurturing relationship with your body.  Every sensation becomes sacred and is responded to with tenderness and compassion.  Each yoga session is approached with an attitude of prayer and as a potential source of profound insight.  In Yoga your body becomes the temple in which you invoke the presence of the Divine.  This intention can take you to new depths in your practice and in your life.”

An except from Discovery Yoga’s Teacher Manual

Research on the Benefits of Yoga

SleepDaytona Yoga Forward Fold

Manjunath NK, Telles S, 2005 compared the impact of Yoga (physical postures, relaxation techniques, and voluntary regulated breathing) and Ayurveda (an herbal preparation) on sleep in the geriatric population.

Sixty-nine seniors

Self-assessment over a one-week period at baseline, and after three and six months of their respective interventions.

Yoga group showed a significant decrease in the time it took to fall asleep (average decrease of 10 minutes) and an increase in the total of number of hours slept (average 1 hour). Other trial groups showed no significant change in sleep.

Conclusion: Yoga practice improved quantity and quality of sleep among the geriatric population.

Strength/Arthritis

Dash M., Telles S., 2001 studied improvement in handgrip in rheumatoid arthritis patients versus normal volunteers following Yoga training.

Results: Handgrip strength in both hands (measured with a grip dynamometer) increased in normal adults and children AND in rheumatoid arthritis patients following Yoga. No improvement among the corresponding control groups.

Diabetes

Jain SC, Uppal A, BhatnagarSO, Talukdar B, 1993 at the University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi evaluated 30-to-60 year old patients with Type II diabetes.

A 40-minute-per-day regimen of Yoga was followed for a period of 40 days.

Results: A significant decrease in fasting blood sugar levels, and an average improvement of 10 percent in lung capacity.

Conclusion: Over time Type II diabetics can achieve better blood sugar control and pulmonary functions when they follow a daily Yoga regimen.

Hypertension

Damodaran A, Malathi A, Patil N, Shah N, Suryavansihi, Marathe S, 2002 evaluated the overall benefits of Yoga on risk factors for heart disease.

20 patients in the age range of 35 to 55 years, who had mild to moderate high blood pressure, practiced Yoga daily for 1 hour.

Conclusion: Patients experienced a decrease in blood pressure, as well as a decrease in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Feedback also indicated that the patients were calmer and had reduced blood pressure.

Excess Weight

Kristal et al, 2005 found that practicing Yoga regularly (for at least half an hour per week) may help offset middle-age weight gain.

It is estimated that people typically gain about one pound per year between the ages of 45 and 55.

Conclusion: Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that weight gain in those who practiced yoga weekly and for at least four years had a 3.1 pound reduction in expected weight gain.

Mood/Anxiety

The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center(May, 2001) conducted a study to assess what effect, if any, Yoga has on stress levels.

Conclusion: During the study, all participants expressed that their moods and anxiety levels were improved as a result of their Yoga sessions.

A side effect to this stress-reducing benefit is that it may actually encourage some seniors to eat better, lowering their risk of cardiac issues and diabetes, assisting in the loss of excess body fat.

Chronic Pain

A study by the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (2001) studied patients who were experiencing chronic pain.

Many people speculate that any form of group activity, be it Yoga or otherwise, is mood-elevating for seniors as they may be living alone and/or have limited social interaction due to physical limitations.

Conclusion: After 4 weeks of practicing yoga, the patients either improved or maintained their symptoms. No patients deteriorated and every patient significantly reduced the amount of pain medication needed. Yoga practice has been shown to aid those suffering with chronic pain, and depression. Group contact provides improves social interaction and provides a sense of belonging.

Lung Problems/Breathing Difficulties

Nagarathna R; Nagendra HR; Seethalakshmi R, 1991) studied breathing difficulties in eighty-six bronchial asthmatics. Patients were treated by a yoga-chair breathing procedure composed of simple neck muscle relaxation movements and postures (or "asanas") with breathing exercises.

Conclusion: 70%of the episodes were relieved within a mean time of 30 minutes. The patients gained confidence in this breathing technique and used it before resorting to prescription medication. Reduced anxiety worked well toward relieving the acute breathing difficulty episodes.

 

Daytona Yoga with Ron and Krista Ghaffarian