By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Do Yoga instructors talk about enhancing beauty in a class? This is a subject that is hardly touched upon in Yoga schools, but teachers often guide students toward emotional, mental, spiritual and physical beauty. Yet, all things physical tend to make the headlines and many people want to enhance physical beauty as much as possible.
While the benefits of Yoga, for maintaining physical fitness and optimal health are fairly well known, the practice may have more subtle effects, as well. Not only does Yogic exercise tone muscles and improve circulation, but it also helps to reduce stress and improve moods. According to some experts, one of the key elements to aging gracefully, and maintaining beauty, is eliminating negative emotions, which calms the mind and body.
Some experts claim that lowering stress through relaxation can cause as many as 250 different genes to change the way they express themselves – creating positive improvements in the immune system and reducing inflammation, which is caused by high cortisol levels.
The presence of excess amounts of cortisol, contributes to the loss of elasticity in the skin, decrease in bone density, reduction in muscle mass, and poorly functioning neurons in the brain. On the other hand, positive feelings – like love, happiness, compassion, and gratitude – relax muscles, enhance blood flow, and increase prana, or vital energy, within the body. Yoga training brings us to states of awareness, and awareness in itself creates change.
Why Is Yoga for Beauty a Good Idea?
• Helps to maintain youthful appearance and flexibility
• Contributes to weight control
• Eliminates toxins from the body
• Improves skin conditions and contributes to a healthy glow
• Stimulates endocrine glands to function more effectively, releasing “good” hormones
• Lengthens neck and lessens effect of wrinkles
• Tones muscles and helps to maintain an attractively, proportioned body
• Builds self confidence and encourages spirituality
• Makes individuals more aware of personal needs and promotes better self care
• Enhances skeletal health and posture
With the media focusing so much attention on the perfect body, unhealthy eating and exercising habits are common; and a Yogic lifestyle might be one realistic answer to the problem.
In surveys comparing Yogic exercise to aerobic exercise, and to no exercise at all, women who practiced Yoga, not only felt more comfortable with their bodies, they were also more in touch with their individual needs and emotions. As a whole, their self-esteem increased in proportion to the length of their practice. In other words: The more they practiced Yoga, the better they felt about themselves.
While Yoga is a not a competitive method for attaining a younger appearance and healthier skin, it really helps to make its participants feel more at home in their own skin. With a combination of poses, meditation, and breathing techniques, Yoga training also encourages clean living and good nutrition – all important components of feeling and looking beautiful.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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