Many of us are currently making grand resolutions for healthier lifestyles in the new year. Is yoga an exercise you’d like to try? It has many health benefits and should definitely be at the top of your list.
Saghana Chakrabortty, M.D., a family medicine physician at Bon Secours, started practicing yoga when he was in his mid-50s after somebody gave him a yoga DVD. Over the years, he has practiced in yoga classes and has even served as an instructor too.
“With yoga, the benefits are still there if you do the whole posture or just part of it,” says Dr. Chakrabortty. “Anybody at any age can start anywhere.”
Since yoga is a low-impact activity, it can be adjusted individually based on skill level.
The main aspects of yoga include:
- Breathing exercises
Yoga focuses on both your physical and mental health. As a holistic exercise, it helps you release bother and worry while also getting a physical work out.
According to Dr. Chakrabortty, the purpose of yoga is to make a person more spiritual and it should be an uplifting experience. With this spirituality comes lifestyle benefits and improvements in overall health.
Yoga focuses on quality of life and is complementary with contemporary medicine. Anecdotal studies show yoga is helpful with the following health conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure and diabetes
- Anxiety and depression
- Balance (better balance prevents falls)
- Motivation (dissuading a sedentary lifestyle)
“There is no point where you don’t benefit from yoga,” says Dr. Chakrabortty. “Even if you just started you will benefit. People shouldn’t lose faith. It’s going to help from day one.”
To get started, Dr. Chakrabortty recommends reading a book on yoga or watching a video.
And what’s the best way to practice yoga? Dr. Chakrabortty is not a stickler for the time or place. You can do yoga anytime as long as there is no food in the stomach. However, most yoga instructors recommend practicing in the morning on an empty stomach.
As a reminder, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise programs.
Learn more about the sports medicine services offered at Bon Secours.