WILL PINKSTON | The Sun
Suzi Renaud, owner of The Yoga Room in Paducah, practices a yoga pose in her studio Monday. The ancient practice of postures, meditations and breathing exercises helps increase blood flow to muscles and joints, which helps to stave off joint pain.
WILL PINKSTON | The Sun
Suzi Renaud, owner of The Yoga Room in Paducah, practices a yoga pose in her studio Monday. The ancient practice of postures, meditations and breathing exercises has health benefits that go beyond simply increased flexibility.
Capturing the mind, body and spirit of millions of Americans, yoga’s spread throughout the country can be attributed to the calming nature and health-promoting benefits of the meditations.
The 5,000-year-old practice of postures, meditation and breathing has eclipsed all vestiges of the term fad and propelled itself well into the mainstream of modern exercise routines. Not only a simple workout, yoga’s an effective form of decreasing stress levels and helps to alleviate joint pain.
Like any form of exercise, it’s important to first consult with a doctor if there are existing medical conditions. Although, the benefits of yoga can help many people by leaps and bounds, said Suzi Renaud, owner of The Yoga Room in Paducah.
“People like the way they feel when they walk out. So (yoga has) really just blossomed, because now there’s more awareness about how this is more than just an exercise, it’s a tool,” Renaud said.
When it comes to yoga, the postures tend to be gentler and less aggressive than other workouts — making yoga especially beneficial for older people — while still reaping the benefits of getting the blood pumping, Renaud said. Stretching joints and muscles allows nutrient-rich blood to freely circulate, and release the buildup of lactic acid that causes joint pain.
“Yoga will help keep and increase range of motion while strengthening the muscles around the joints,” said Julia Schaberg, a yoga instructor at Energy Fitness in Paducah. “It also has been shown to decrease tenderness and pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga improves the blood circulation in joints, removing unwanted toxins and other waste products.”
In addition to helping with joint pain, yoga has been connected to its ability to help decrease stress, primarily through its focus on proper breathing techniques, Renaud said.
“While it helps to increase our strength, flexibility and prevent pain, it also promotes better breathing,” she said. “Many times we hold stress in our shoulders or back, or wherever it locates itself in our body, because we’re not breathing properly. A lot of times when we’re stressed, we’re holding in our breath.”
The focus on stretching and flexing concentrates the mind, and over time that ability of inward reflection helps to translate into the stress dealt with on a daily basis, Schaberg said.
“The tools to implement a mind over matter approach are already there, and through yoga practice they become enabled for your immediate use,” she said.
Call Will Pinkston, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.