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Health & Wellness Benefits of Yoga

July 12, 2011

“Yoga is the balance of Body, Mind and Spirit”, Beth Corrick, MFT, E-RYT explained as she began her introduction to the “Health and Wellness Benefits of Yoga” to a group of Ramona and Pauma Valley residents last week at the Ramona Public Library.

SmartCare’s goal in offering this Wellness Activity was to open the minds of people of all ages and  backgrounds to the many ways yoga can be incorporated into our daily lives and routines, bringing  physical, emotional and spiritual benefits; a truly integrated approach to wellness!  

Ms. Corrick provided a thoughtful and informative history of yoga, dispelling popular beliefs that yoga   is connected to a specific religion or solely a form of exercise.  And, by taking us through specific yoga practices in our chairs, she dispelled the myth that you need to have a certain agility to be able to benefit from yoga. 

Here are some of the physical benefits of yoga: it helps us to gain flexibility, increases strength (particularly upper body strength), improves posture, it benefits breathing, and can benefit ailments such as asthma, back pain, insomnia and multiple sclerosis.  Yoga also benefits the heart by decreasing blood pressure, slowing the pulse rate, improving blood circulation and improving cardiovascular endurance. 

If you might need more convincing, here are some ways that Ms. Corrick pointed out yoga can assist with weight management: yoga reduces stress, which can reduce binge eating; yoga can assist with balanced metabolism; gastrointestinal functions improve; and yoga massages the internal organs, which creates better digestion.

The spiritual and emotional benefits of yoga, according to Ms. Corrick, include quieting the “mind chatter”, decreasing the hormones produced by the adrenals in response to stress, it has a positive effect on learning and memory, slows the aging process and increases our self-acceptance.

Ms. Corrick also reminded us of the importance of breathing, taking us through specific “breath practices”; one specific for reducing anxiety, another that addresses fatigue and another that addresses depression.

Finally, we were introduced to “Mindfulness” as Ms. Corrick took us through a guided imagery experience.  The participants, both those new to these practices as well as those who practice yoga, expressed that they each found new motivation and experiences to easily incorporate into their daily lives.

We look forward to Ms. Corrick returning to introduce yoga and mindfulness to our Spanish speaking residents and to our adolescents! 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Debra A. Fitzgerald permalink
    July 12, 2011 3:29 pm

    It sounds like it was a tremendous event. Congratulations on your continued success with SmartCare!

    Best,
    Debra Fitzgerald, MSW
    HHSA, OHSI, County of San Diego

  2. July 13, 2011 8:09 pm

    This sounds like a great workshop- so glad SmartCare presented it.

    We are doing Yoga with children before school here at Julian Pathways. The outcomes have gone way beyond what we anticipated! Perhaps we could partner to provide a workshop event here at Pathways for parents.

    Thanks for all you do at SmartCare.

    Susi Jones
    Julian Pathways
    JUSD

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