With stressful working environments and hectic schedules, many people struggle with the negative impact of their busy work lives. Those who have difficulty managing their personal and work lives in balance with each other are increasingly turning to yoga. Yoga gives them peace of mind so that they can achieve a perfect work-life balance.
The mind-body connection is piquing interest in this ancient practice, and research shows that it can indeed reduce blood pressure and stress, improve your work performance, and even make you age more slowly.
Although the focus on yoga may be different depending on the environment, its basic premise is to relax the body while keeping the mind focused and alert. For example, when you do yoga, you focus on body movement, breath, sound or even an object. When your mind wanders, as it inevitably will, you bring your attention back and start again.
The ancient practice of yoga garnered renewed interest in the 1960s, when those interested in consciousness began to follow its practices. However, after this, yoga began to fall out of favor. It may have been because yoga is not quite like other types of exercise. For one, you need patience in order to get its full benefits. It offers steady but slow results. This is in direct contrast to the almost frenetic activity and quick results of aerobics.
Many people rush to work out every day during their lunch hours, force themselves to keep up a brisk pace, and then rush back to work. Of course, it's probably physically beneficial, but it still adds pressure to an already overwhelmed life. Yoga, by contrast, offers a less competitive and stressful way to work out, while supporting and even causing an overall feeling of simply "being."
One of the major reasons yoga is making a comeback is because it can be so healing as an activity. The over-the-top push for fitness generated by the traditional exercise regimes of aerobics, running, or weight lifting also has caused injuries, including neck pain, back pain, or strained knees. Because we are such a competitive society, these activities have also inspired books, tapes and videos touting this or that as the latest and greatest thing.
Today, even health practitioners are getting in on yoga practice, with chiropractors, neurologists and orthopedic surgeons sometimes referring patients to specific yogis during treatment.
In fact, it's moving to the mainstream increasingly. Mainstream hospitals and businesses are now having yoga techniques taught, while books about these techniques are bestsellers, with discussion groups on the Internet springing up to talk about this "new" innovation as well.
Surprisingly, perhaps, even the Army has gotten in on the act. It has asked the National Academy of Sciences to study New Age techniques such as meditation to see if soldiers' performance can be enhanced in this way.
In addition, yoga has become a pursuit for some runners, weight trainers or aerobic dancers who don't find peace in their exercise regimes and want the de-stressing aspects of yoga to be part of their workouts.
Approximately 60 to 90% of doctors' visits in the U.S. are related to stress. Mind-body approaches offer cost-effective and safe treatments for this ailment that don't involve drugs or surgery. Among people who use these techniques, 34% of patients who are infertile get pregnant within six months, while 70% of those who have trouble sleeping or even have medically defined insomnia become regular sleepers. In addition, the numbers of those suffering from pain and making regular doctor visits because of it go down by 36%.
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Kim Archer enjoys the health benefits and relaxation of yoga. A great source of information on this restorative practice can be found at Yoga Essentials.
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