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Hello!  I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your new year!  It is time for me to get in shape!   I have been meeting with a personal trainer three times a week since mid January.  My trainer incorporates yoga moves into my workouts.   I’m already feeling the benefits from regular exercise and yoga.  Since February is American Heart Month, and I am exploring yoga for heart health, I want to take the opportunity to share with you some of the benefits of yoga.

yoga - heart health

Exploring Yoga for Heart Health

Though it once might have been considered just a trend, yoga has become a widely accepted discipline that is practiced by millions for its positive impact on mental and physical health.

Work with a professional

Your friend or neighbor may take yoga classes and love to give you advice on the poses.  Although very nice of them, it is still best to learn from a certified instructor.  Your friends may not know certain poses can increase injury risk for sufferers of osteoporosis, spinal problems and high or low blood pressure. When trying it for the first time, work with a certified instructor and discuss any pre-existing medical conditions before your initial session.  To let your friends know you still appreciate their advice, buy them a yoga ornament!

yoga-bag

Take things slowly

Since yoga has the reputation as a calming exercise, it gives beginners the impression that it is easy to grasp, but it’s harder than just deep breathing!  Most studios offer beginner classes.  I would highly recommend a beginner class if you have never tried yoga for heart health before.  Remember, it is not a competition, give yourself time to learn the breathing techniques and learn proper ways to maintain your balance.

yoga

Dress Appropriately

There actually is a good reason that women wear yoga pants to class!  Flexibility is essential, so you need to make sure your clothing is not restrictive.  Women can buy pants made especially to stretch easily.  Men can also find pants good for yoga but shorts or track pants can work as well.

Class Levels

There are many yoga class levels to choose from.  Studios offer basic classes which focuses on alignment and proper action, to power yoga for the more advanced.  I have also seen chair yoga where using a chair offers a safe, comfortable environment without having to get on the floor.  There is warm yoga and hot as well.  The warm room temperature helps relax the muscles, and for hot yoga the room is heated to 90-95 degrees to aid in stretching and lengthening the muscles…it’s definitely only for those who can take the heat!

yoga-pose

Yoga for heart health is a nice change in my routine.  For now I find the beginner positions are the right level for me.  I feel great after balancing and stretching my muscles.  The deep breathing is also calming.  Practitioners credit it with relieving stress and improving overall fitness.  According to the Mayo Clinic, it reduces risk factors for chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.    Happy American Heart Month from ChristmasOrnaments.com!

Please share these heart healthy tips with your friends and family!