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The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School

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What Does Yoga Really Do For Our Bodies?

What+Does+Yoga+Really+Do+For+Our+Bodies%3F

Yoga is an ancient form of Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, which includes breath control, meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, to increase flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Yoga traditionally was practiced in India as a way to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Today many San Luis Obispo High School students practice yoga. San Luis Obispo itself has over six different studios and SLOHS offers a yoga/cycling class. But does yoga really deserve all the attention it has been recently receiving?

“It anchors me to my true self and calms me down when nothing else can. It gave me a purpose when I felt I had none,” said junior Ellie Janette.

In modern times yoga has soared in popularity with health specialists boasting of its innumerable health benefits.

According to the American Osteopathic Association yoga has been proven to increase flexibility, respiration, metabolism, reduce weight, and promote cardiac health. Yoga is often viewed as just a relaxing “stretching” class, but classes such as Vinyasa provide a fast-paced environment that will leave participants thoroughly exhausted. Research from the Yoga Health Foundation found taking Vinyasa or Ashtanga classes for ninety minutes at least three times a week will produce weight loss.

Yoga is also an excellent way to ease back pain. Conclusions from a 2011 study of 313 adults with chronic or recurring low-back pain found that 12 weekly yoga classes resulted in better function than usual medical care.

It is also an excellent way to treat anxiety and depression. Low brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA are often found in people with depression. The Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard’s McLean Hospital found that healthy subjects who practiced yoga for one hour had a 27 percent increase in levels of GABA compared to another group that sat quietly and read for an hour. This and many other studies has led to the growing belief that yoga has a myriad of mental health benefits.

Yoga seems to be worthy of the praise it has been receiving over the last few years. If students are interested in trying a yoga class they can find information for classes available in SLO at studios such as:

https://www.sloyogacenter.org/class-descriptions/

http://www.smileatspark.com

http://www.smilingdogyoga.com

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