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    Includes Expert Content
    National Yoga Month - Get Limber!
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    September is National Yoga Month.

    If you've never tried yoga for fitness, stress relief or just a little Zen in your life, this is a great time to stretch your exercise limits! (Just remember, as with all exercise it's best to chat with your doc before jumping in.)

    Loved yoga in the past but gotten out of the habit? Begin anew.

    Here is some information to get you started:

    Health Benefits of Yoga

    Yoga Moves for Instant Energy

    Which Style of Yoga is Best for You?

    Yoga for Stress Management

    Yoga Poses for Your Core (video)

    Have you tried yoga? What type? Tell us about it!

    Ready to get started? Tell us how you feel after your first session.
    Kelley4321 responded:
    I started yoga after my first child was born. We went to a Mommy and Me class. It was stress free and sooo relaxing. I could hold my infant, have her in a sling or lay her on the mat next to me while stretching, posing and meditating. I could even sit in the back of the room to nurse and the instructor would help me with breathing.
    socalsuz responded:
    Hi Olivia -

    I discovered yoga when I was pregnant with my 1st daughter. I always thought yoga was a wimpy workout with strange chanting and gongs.

    Boy was I wrong! The prenatal class not only prepared my body for childbirth, but, more importantly, it helped with the everyday anxiety and that I felt as a first time mom.

    Now, 7 years later, I have a strong yoga practice for my body and my brain. If I skip a week or so, my family says "Mom! Get back on the mat!"

    My 4 and 7 year old daughters take a kids yoga class once a week and I'm pretty sure they are hooked!

    ADVICE: Keep trying different classes (most places offer a "first time free" option) to find the perfect fit. There are great studios but also classes at local YMCA's, city park programs, hospitals, senior centers, work out gyms, etc.


    SusieBee13 replied to socalsuz's response:
    Great info, thank you Olivia!
    I stretch every morning, does that count?

    I do try it now and again, it's harder than it looks, but oh so rewarding and unwinding. I have it on demand on TV, from my cable company. I can do it anytime I'd like from home, I love that.

    OK I need to start more often, especially with winter coming, I need to get moving!
    butterflygarden responded:
    I used to do yoga at our local Y when my kids were small. I definitely got out of the habit.

    I'd love some recommendations for good at-home yoga workouts for beginners that I can buy on DVD. I could use the Zen if nothing else! LOL

    I promise to report back on my progress!

    monamia responded:
    My mother began doing yoga back in the 60s and I followed along and continued to get back into it now and then over the decades.

    One thing that got me back into it again in recent years was Wii Fit's yoga portion. Hey, whatever works, right?
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
    One of the great things about yoga is how the effects tend to stay with you once you've practiced it for a while, and how quickly the effects can yield benefits. For instance, if you find yourself stressed you can do just a few moments of yoga breathing with your eyes closed, and the relaxation that you experienced in your class will come back to you. It becomes a way of life to live like that. It can be transcendent.

    Of course, the physical benefits add to the mental benefits. You learn how to focus and connect with your body, as well as build strength and improve posture.

    To get started I recommend a basic class. Hatha yoga is typically the most basic and popular type. Let the instructor know if it's your first time so he or she can keep an extra eye on you. Yoga can be demanding physically so you want to put yourself in good hands with an instructor who can keep an eye on you. And if there's a pose you can't do, don't worry about it. Even if you do just part of the pose it's okay, but it's okay to modify it any way you can, and ask the instructor for help too. Yoga is about no judgments, so you should not feel self-conscious if you're not "perfect" at it. Like any activity, it takes some practice, but once you get going, you'll enjoy it. Also, many beginner classes repeat the same poses at each session, so if you attend consistently, you'll get the hang of it quickly. You can look for yoga studios here

    If you decide to do it at home, has a good assortment of yoga DVD's. The DVD's are organized by activity, and with yoga it's by level (beginner, intermediate, etc.), so you'll find them easily. And you can call Collage for advice on the most popular DVD's since they are very helpful on the phone. If you've never done yoga before I recommend that you take some classes first to learn the poses, and then you'll be able to do it at home on your own (which is very nice to do). Many studios have their own set of DVD's or CD's. Personally, I like yoga DVD's or CD's without having to look at the TV to do it. It's distracting to have to keep looking at it, and so that's why I suggest getting your feet wet at a studio, learn the poses, and then you can do it at home, either to a CD without video, or a DVD but not looking at the video, just listening to the instructors voice. Yoga works best when you stay inwardly focused and centered, tuning in only to your body, so that's why a video can be distracting.

    I wrote an article on yoga that you can find here

    Yoga is a great way to round out a workout schedule. It helps your head and your body, and it's worth a shot. Enjoy it!
    Tomato05 replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
    Is yoga suitable for someone who has advanced osteoporosis, and who has had 2 spinal fractures?
    FLIPLIVES replied to Tomato05's response:
    Hi Tomato--

    The great thing about yoga is that you always go at your own level. Every pose has modifications, so if something hurts, you would modify the pose or choose another pose that provides the same benefits. Just be sure to let your yoga teacher know so they can recommend what poses are right for you. My mother is in her sixties and has been doing yoga for over 7 yrs. She has carpal tunnel and she uses foam dumbells to grab onto so she is protecting her wrists. Hope this helps.

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