Stretching out stress Ancient exercise for modern times

This is a fantastic article on how wonderful stretching is as a way to combat stress;

"Two and a half years ago Mayra Bailon, a former Santa Ana College student, reached a point in her life where she felt completely overwhelmed.

Many college students can relate to Mayra's problems, such as deadlines for school papers and midterms, bills to pay while keeping up with family, school, work and friends. She was searching for something to bring a balance to her life.

"I like practicing yoga because it gives me the opportunity to focus on myself and only myself," said Bailon.

Yoga can be traced back more than 5,000 years, a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at reaching a state of enlightenment by integrating the mind, body and spirit.

Among the dozen or so different classes of yoga, Hatha is the most common.

"Ha" means sun, and "tha" means moon in the ancient language of Sanskrit. Hatha is more slow-paced than some other types and provides a good introduction to basic yoga poses called "asana."

The goal is to hold the poses by integrating breathing with movement. It is a great way to stretch, work your muscles, get in touch with your body, relax and decrease stress.

Another type of yoga gaining popularity is Bikram, known as Hot Yoga, where people practice 26 different poses in a 95- to 100 degree room. The heat allows the loosening of tight muscles and the profuse sweating is thought to be cleansing.

Russell Shields, 63, has been practicing yoga since the 1970s and has been the yoga instructor for Bally Total Fitness Gym in Orange County for the past seven years.

Shields believes that yoga not only improves strength and flexibility, but that through the practice, we develop patterns that bring peace of mind so that the body becomes accustomed to doing things in a more balanced way.

"There is such a strong connection between the breath and mind that when we get the breath working in conjunction with the body in a smooth way it levels out our whole life," Shields said.

Most people who practice yoga believe it benefits body posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It creates more awareness of the body, allowing physiological benefits such as a decrease in blood pressure, and more blood flow to organs.

"I absolutely recommend yoga to college students. School can be stressful and yoga eliminates a portion of that," said Bailon. "It can change anyone into a more, relaxed and positive person."

Most people who decide to take up yoga do it to feel fitter, become more energetic, and more peaceful."

Source: el Don, by Ana Paz


our group do our version of yoga weekly and all benefit from it even if we find it difficult to put limbs into some of the positions and manage to keep the kids awake during the quiet time, its just as much fun as the more physical ones we attempt but best of all yoga can be done at home discreetly so its a take anywhere accesory,

we all find ourselves doing the breathing techniques when in a stressful situation

as always loving thoughts and positive vibes
D :)