Healthy Backs Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a Sanskrit word which meaning “union”. Traditionally yoga, which has been around for over 5000 years, was used to unite the physical body with a state of enlightenment. In the West, our concept of yoga is based on “asanas”, or physical postures. These postures are designed to tone, strengthen and align the body. They increase movement in the spine and increase blood flow to all organs, glands and tissues, thereby promoting health and balance to all bodily systems. Pranayama, or breath control, aids in quieting and controlling the mind, decreasing stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Yoga

The physical benefits of a well designed yoga practice by a registered yoga teacher are abundant. The postures are used to help improve strength, mobility and balance, and to decrease the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. It can be used in conjunction with other treatments to help conditions such as: asthma, back pain, menopause, multiple sclerosis, varicose veins, high blood pressure and cholesterol, depression and anxiety.

Yoga is a low-impact activity making it suitable for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. Yoga helps develop strength by using gravity as resistance, and by isometric contractions of muscles. This allows all parts of the body to benefit. The poses themselves incorporate weight bearing in both the upper and lower body making it a great form of exercise to help maintain bone mass for those who may be at risk for, or currently have, osteoporosis. As we age, our balance decreases. With regular yoga practices, one can increase one’s sense of balance and therefore decrease the risks of falls and subsequent fractures.

In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, the mental benefits one can gain are incredible. Yoga helps to decrease stress and anxiety, and helps to bring awareness to our own bodies. The relaxation and mental focus gained through regular yoga practice can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Why Yoga at SOS?

SOS offers “Healthy Backs Yoga” which is led by a Registered Physiotherapist who is also a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. Some yoga postures, while wonderful if you are healthy, can cause serious injury if existing injuries are not taken into account. As a physiotherapist, our yoga instructor has a deep understanding of the relation between the injury and the biomechanics of specific poses. With this increased knowledge our Yoga teacher can modify any poses to account for injuries, and lessening the chance of further damage. The classes we offer are designed to increase strength and flexibility, and to promote a sense of relaxation and body awareness. The classes are suitable for a range of abilities, from first-timers to experienced practitioners.

If you have any questions about our yoga classes please contact Beth Albert by phone at 519-743-4355 or email beth.albert@sosphysiotherapy.ca.