A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Yoga Picture            A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Raising a family and having a fulfilling career has not come easy for me.  I’m sure I am not alone.  Trying to find balance in this fast paced world, juggling family, a career, housework, deadlines, baseball games and choir concerts, can leave one feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and completely stressed out.  This is exactly where I landed. I found myself just going through the motions – essentially showing up where needed.  As my children were growing right before my very eyes I began to realize how quickly time was passing by.  I became acutely aware of the fact that I had lost sight of the bigger picture. I was missing out on all the little things that I would soon come to realize were really the biggest things.  I no longer wanted to go through the motions I wanted to get back to living with intention and to actively participating in my own life!    If I was going to pour all of my energy into something, I wanted do things that mattered…this is where my yoga journey began.

I started by signing up for a beginner level class at the local YMCA.  The class  was 2 times per week and worked perfectly into my schedule.   The more I practiced, the more I wanted to learn. The more I learned, the more I wanted to practice.  The benefits were almost immediate.  I was able to breathe and sleep better.  I was more focused at work and overall I felt better!

The health benefits of yoga are well-established.  Practicing yoga on a regular basis cultivates cardio-vascular health, musculoskeletal strength and flexibility.  It reaches every organ system-respiratory, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic and nervous.   Yoga cultivates the body’s natural capacity to relax and reduces the negative effects of stress.

There are many forms of yoga and an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, but, in general, yoga focuses on postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana).   Start with the basics and develop your practice.  Below are 7 quick tips to getting started:

What you will need:  A yoga mat and an open mind.

  1. Choose your location: The comfort of your own home, a local gym or a yoga studio.
  2. Choose a beginner level DVD, online video or yoga class.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Beginner Poses and how to do them correctly.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Yoga Etiquette.
  5. Familiarize yourself with Basic Breathing Techniques.
  6. Work at your own level and always listen to your body.
  7. Just Breathe.

Yoga has taught me to once again, live with intention, to pour my energy into what truly matters, to be present…and be okay with it.  I still have to deal with everyday stresses, deadlines and problems.  However, they no longer get the best of me.  I can deal with them with confidence, clarity and ease.  In general, I have a more defined sense of purpose in my life. I’ve learned to honor my body and to let go of things that no longer serve my purpose so that I can do more than I once thought possible.  By taking time out for myself, on my mat, I am a better person for everyone in my life.   Carrying my practice with me in my daily routine, I am more mindful, focused and confident. I continue to grow in my life each day as well as in my practice.  This is my journey.

Namaste my friends,

Joy Vale
Client Care Coordinator

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David S. Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

Visit us at www.balancingyourchemistry.com.

Cope, Stephen. Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. New York: Bantam, 2000. Print.
Kaminoff, Leslie, and Amy Matthews. Yoga Anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2012. Print.
“Three Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Career.” www.womensagenda.com.au/guilt-free-zone/health/three-ways-yoga-can-improve-your-career/201306172338#.VQ9CH47F98E>.

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