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Week Twelve: Yoga

Although we already discussed stretching, yoga is a bit different. Yoga combines the benefits of stretching including improving flexibility, balance and strength with the benefits of meditation. In fact, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, yoga helps relieve back pain, eases arthritis, helps with heart health, aides in better sleep while also boosting energy and moods, and it helps manage stress. On top of this, it also helps a person connect to a support community. Additionally, you can reap the benefits of yoga by just practicing once or twice a week, but it's also safe enough to practice daily. You really can't beat that! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles out there from some of the leading health experts that talk about all of the benefits of yoga. So if you're not sure about the health benefits, please look it up!

Yoga can be traced back to India and dates back about 5,000 years! While yoga is an important practice in both Hinduism and Buddhism, it does not have to based off a person's spiritual beliefs. There are even different types of yoga and these can concentrate on certain benefits. For instance, yoga can be faster paced or taken place in a hot room to aide in flexibility and strength. It can also be slow moving through poses and concentrated on breathing and stillness to aide in stress management and relief. There is a yoga practice out there for everyone and you are never too old or too young to start.

Your challenge this week is to find a YouTube video (or even better, attend a class!) that goes over some basic yoga poses and ideals. Just find a video and try and follow along. Be smooth with your transitions, breathe deeply, and participate. Then, if you're journaling, write in your journal about how the yoga practice felt. Was it relaxing to you? Did you enjoy it? Was this something you'd like to start incorporating into your day? How did it improve the rest of your day, or did it even have an impact. Remember the goal of this challenge is to open your mind, allow you new experiences, and show different ways that we can heal ourselves naturally to complement modern medicine. Until next week my friends, Blessed Be!


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