Encouraging Iyengar yoga students to continue attending class at least once weekly may make a significant difference in their stress levels and in their quality of life, according to study findings published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012; doi: 10.1155/2012/408727).
Mind-body fitness pros who are trained in relaxation techniques may want to teach clients these skills as part of a comprehensive wellness strategy. Stress impacts both physical and mental well-being. Excess stress can be a causal factor in certain health issues, or it can worsen conditions that are already present. Research findings support using relaxation techniques as part of an overall treatment for stress-related disorders.
In a study with 385 women undergoing treatment for advanced-stage breast cancer, researchers found that reflexology helped women manage their symptoms and improve their ability to accomplish daily activities. The women who received reflexology treatments felt less shortness of breath and were better able to do things like climb stairs, get dressed or go grocery shopping.
For years, yoga has supported my career as a b-girl (breakdancer) and professional contemporary and hip-hop dancer. From this stable foundation, I’ve built strength, grace, balance and power. The following sequence—which blends dance, yoga and footwork drills—has the basic structure of a hip-hop class. The combination gives participants a unique cardio experience while safely building flexibility and increasing upper-body and core strength.
Think of a recent time you felt stressed. Maybe it was during an argument with your spouse, or a meltdown with your kids. Maybe you were stuck in traffic and late for an important meeting. Or maybe you were lying in bed, worrying about work. Whatever the cause of your stress, your body and brain were almost certainly experiencing the same thing: boiling blood pressure, a churning stomach, tight muscles and a racing mind.
Pregnant women suffering from depression in their second trimester slept better and experienced less depression and anxiety when they participated in a weekly yoga and tai chi practice, according to researchers from the University of Miami Medical School.
They conducted the study to determine whether a nonpharmaceutical intervention could successfully help pregnant women with a variety of symptoms. The tai chi and yoga participants practiced in a group for 20 minutes per week over a 12-week period. Control group members did not change their routine activities.
The second annual Bridging the Hearts & Minds of Youth Conference, presented by the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, took place February 1–3 in San Diego, with more than 40
speakers addressing the topic of mindfulness in clinical practice, education and research—specifically in relation to young people.