Beginning as a spiritual practice rooted in ancient times, yoga has now become commonly used for physical and mental health.
Yoga can improve quality of life by helping with stress management and quality of sleep, according to the National Institute of Health.
Kayla Lachance is a yoga and fitness instructor at Solis Movement in Toronto. While maintaining a social, personal, and work life, Lachance promotes a healthy lifestyle through her work in yoga.
During an interview, Lachance said that yoga can be a tool for not only improving quality of life but also depression and trauma.
“I got into yoga myself for anxiety and depression and it’s probably one of the only things that has helped me overcome my challenges in certain ways,” Lachance said.
“We have hot yoga at Solis so that has been proven to relax your muscles even deeper in different poses – breathing and meditation are extremely important for calming down the central nervous system and allowing your muscles to relax,” she said.
Lachance implies stress management is supported by allowing the central nervous system to calm down during yoga.
Research from the National Institute of Health shows yoga can help with stress management by maintaining positive habits and supporting emotional health.
Quality of sleep is improved by the relief of muscle or joint pains and possibly tension in the neck that can cause headaches.
Research also shows that a night-time yoga routine can help train and adjust the body to fall asleep and remain asleep for the night’s rest.
The John Hopkins of Medicine, “9 Benefits of Yoga,” article reads that the ideal yoga pose to try for stress management is the “corpse pose” and for better sleep the flat back “legs-to-wall” pose.
“Those areas are common places that people often hold tension like the shoulders, the jaw, right between the eyebrows and usually the hips, things like that so calling attention to those areas during yoga supports people to notice it a little bit more,” Lachance said.
Mark Sarson is a resident and event planner in Toronto. Sarson shares his experience with yoga in an interview.
“I’ve dealt with many years of sleeping issues and consuming lots of alcohol - so yoga and physiotherapy has definitely changed my lifestyle and helped with repairing soft tissue damage and my emotional health,” Sarson said.
Many people use yoga in conjunction with physiotherapy or counselling to help heal the challenges faced.
The National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health is currently sponsoring different yoga research studies to help with trauma, depression, chronic pain, anger management, and drug addiction.
“Who knows maybe people will lean more towards yoga and holistic ways of healing to help with physical or mental needs - without having to use certain pharmaceuticals,” he said.
While yoga was used for spiritual practices a long time ago, it may arise again in the years ahead for physical and mental health.
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