Yoga benefits a wide range of people

The mind-body connection has intrigued scientists for centuries. The ability to meditate and visualize various physical activities is believed to be instrumental in healing as well as athletic performance.

This mental and physical collaboration is essential to yoga. Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. The meditative aspects were the principal emphasis, with the physical component added later.

Poses vary based on each person’s abilities and the yoga style. Many older participants with health limitations are able to benefit from the mental relaxation and stretching along with the camaraderie of class participation.

Among the benefits of yoga are improved:

Flexibility: Stretching ligaments and tendons protects against sprains and muscle strains.

Strength: The resistive component of some poses will improve strength especially in core muscles.

Concentration: Yoga encourages focusing on a specific task without distraction.

Medical studies have demonstrated that patients suffering from cardiac disease, respiratory conditions and neurologic illnesses have all been helped by adding yoga to their therapeutic regimen.

The image of a yoga participant as a thinly built individual able to contort themselves into a variety of “double-jointed” poses immediately comes to mind when thinking about a yoga class. Recently, Lee Elci, a local talk show host, and I challenged that image by attending a yoga class at the Centerspace Wellness Studio in Bozrah. We were both impressed by the intensity of the workout and the benefits.

“The popularity of yoga has steadily grown in Eastern Connecticut,” said Lyndsay Meiklem, a certified yoga teacher and owner of Centerspace. “Many young athletes participate to enhance performance in their primary sport and patients recovering from orthopedic injuries use yoga for rehabilitation.”

Utilizing yoga to treat and prevent illness may provide an effective tool in controlling future healthcare expenses. If interested, contact Centerspace Wellness at 860-886-8562.

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