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18 April 2007

Yoga: mind, body, soul, heart

Exercising during winter is not often on the top of the priority list. Getting into that running outfit and making your way outside to be hit by cold wind is not appealing .

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Exercising during winter is not often on the top of anyone’s list of things to do. Getting into that running outfit and making your way outside to be hit by a wall of cold wind is not an appealing thought at all.

Why not think of an alternative form of exercise during winter, one that allows you to get your workout indoors.

A solution for you could be yoga, which is an alternative form of exercise, which focuses on elevating the health of the mind, body and soul.

Aids in reducing stress
A complete yoga programme involves exercises (asanas), breath control (pranayama), sleep control (yoga Nidra) and mind control (meditation), which all aid in reducing stress.

Deep relaxation can also help cope with stress and anxiety. Victims of heart disease and stroke could consider yoga as a low impact alternative for regaining fitness as it is a less strenuous form of exercise.

Groschaan Emmanuel, a qualified yoga instructor says: “The impact of pranayama (proper healthy breathing techniques in yoga) is to enhance the life force within our bodies. One naturally oxygenates & energises the vital organs including the king of organs, the heart, which carries this new vitality throughout the body thereby nourishing one’s being.”

The four aspects of yoga
There are four aspects of yoga that could have an impact on the body’s well- being:

  • Achaar - Character and conduct

  • Vichaar – The perception or the way we think

  • Vyayahaar - The way we behave

  • Ahaar – The diet or the food we eat

The benefits
The benefits of yoga may enhance heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic stress, boost the immune system and enhance cognitive ability, which is why cardiologists often recommend yoga to patients.

Emmanuel also added: "Yoga has presented me with many gifts; all brimming with the abundance of health and the greatest gift of all has undoubtedly been the gift of silence which stirred an incredible beauty of sublime consciousness.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation encourages a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise.

For more information on heart health visit www.heartfoundation.co.za or contact the Heart Mark Diet Line on 0860 223222.

(The Heart and Stroke Foundation, April 2007)

 
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