Yoga 101

The ben­e­fits of yoga – in­clud­ing low­er­ing blood pres­sure and eas­ing back pain – should be enough to get any­one on the mat

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

Dis­cover the ben­e­fits of this ever-grow­ing favourite pas­time

But while two mil­lion Aus­tralians em­brace their in­ner yogi, the num­bers take a nose­dive for those past age 50. That’s un­for­tu­nate, ex­perts say. “Yoga can be a life­long best friend – if you know how to re­spect and lis­ten to your body,” says Colleen Said­man Yee, owner of Yoga Shanti Stu­dios in New York. “Yoga will keep your joints and mus­cles fluid and flex­i­ble, and aid di­ges­tion and sleep,” she says.

Yoga can also have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on men­tal health, says John Zre­biec, di­rec­tor of be­havioural health ser­vices at the Joslin Di­a­betes Cen­ter in Bos­ton. “Stud­ies in­di­cate a va­ri­ety of beneficial out­comes,” Zre­biec says. Yoga may re­duce stress and im­prove mood, qual­ity of life, cog­ni­tive func­tion and en­ergy lev­els. Yoga may even re­duce symptoms of post-trau­matic stress disor­der.

Our rec­om­men­da­tion: just start. Look for a be­gin­ner’s DVD or class. “Then show up,” says Said­man Yee. “Chances are you’ll get more out of it than you thought.”

Read on for ev­ery­thing you need to know, whether you’re a first-timer or a reg­u­lar want­ing to learn more.

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