The Science and Benefits of Yoga

With the return of a Yoga program at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, we’d like to give our members and readers a bit more information behind this beneficial form of exercise. Yoga has been studied for over 5,000 years and can be dated back to an advanced civilization in ancient India.  It is now practiced in nearly every country in the world. Yoga migrated to the United States in the 1800s and has been proven to promote wellness and healing within the body. Scientists have been intrigued at the effects of yoga on the body and brain. Studies have found yoga to be beneficial not only for strength and flexibility, but for lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as enhancing the immune function. One of yoga’s most known health benefits is the reduction of stress.  (Yoga Journal: The Scientific Basis of Yoga Therapy by Timothy McCall, M.D.)

yoga1Stress levels have been documented as one of the leading causes for a multitude of degenerative diseases. Yoga provides a comprehensive approach on overall wellness and effectively lowers stress. Yoga’s main goal is to focus on the mind-body connection and calming the mind through focus and breathing. The mind is a powerful ally or our worst enemy. If there is no physical well-being it is challenging to maintain a clear mind and perform at peak levels. After time this performance declines and deteriorates. With yoga you can begin to reverse the clock and see benefits rather quickly.

Lowering stress levels also paves way for shedding pounds. Lowered stress levels decreases production of stress hormones that store body fat. The low impact stretching and isometric poses in yoga provides a great alternative.

Who should take yoga and how often? Anyone that breathes could benefit from the practice of yoga. Yoga is an individual journey and there is no competition. Yoga is a practice and it is a science. The more you practice, the more flexibility and strength will be gained. The daily buildup of stress and your environment is easier to maintain if done on a regular basis. Imagine the spine and the daily effects of stress, gravity and cluttered mind. Yoga will help chip off the buildup and begin to heal and regenerate the body from within.

The Yoga program at Cordillera Ranch will evolve into some specific areas to target our members’ interests. We’ll soon develop some yoga specific classes for golfers and tennis players alike. In golf, the power of your swing starts from the ground up. This means that all the curls in the world won’t help you hit longer drives or swing fewer strokes. So if you want to be stronger on the links, drop the weights and get on the yoga mat. “Swing power is generated from the lower body to the hips, the trunk, the shoulders, the arms, and out to the club,” says Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers and fitness expert for the Golf Channel. “A lot of yoga postures are very good at getting deep into the connective tissue and musculature of the hips. The hips initiate the downswing, so having mobility in the hips and strong glutes is really critical for generating power.”

What do tennis elbow, sore back, weak footwork and inability to maintain good focus have in common? All of these tennis-related issues can be prevented and remedied by yoga practice. As more and more world-class tennis players are taking up yoga to improve their stretching, strength and breathing, perhaps so should you. Yoga practice can improve your game on many levels, most notably working on your flexibility, power, balance, injury prevention and mind control.

For questions about the Yoga program at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, please contact Jewel Bowers at jewel.bowers@yahoo.com.

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