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A 3,000-Year-Old Holiday Stress Saver

Since we are in the midst of the 2008 holiday season and a more precarious economic climate than this country has experienced since The Great Depression, it is no wonder if your stress levels feel like they are off the charts! In-laws, holiday parties, tightened wallets, the list goes on of what we need to accomplish in just a few short weeks.

If you are in desperate need of an immediate tension-tamer, I have one word for you: Yoga. For those who may already have a regular yoga practice, you will appreciate moving and breathing to your favorite asanas all the more as the stressful holiday season heats up. For those of you who have never tried a yoga class, this is your time to experience this ancient system of mind, body and spirit connection. Consider it a holiday gift you are giving to yourself that you don’t even have to gift wrap or write a card.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), yoga may have the power to offer the following laundry list of health benefits.

  • Improve mood and sense of well-being
  • Counteract stress
  • Reduce heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increase lung capacity
  • Improve muscle relaxation and body composition
  • Help with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility
  • Positively affect levels of certain brain or blood chemicals

One of the holes we routinely fall into each holiday season is putting everyone ahead of ourselves. Make this holiday season different and carve out just one hour for yourself every couple of days to do something that brings a sense of peace to your mind. Yoga has the power to cultivate that sense of stillness yet invigoration in you that will give the right mind and heart to deal with overbearing holiday house guests, delayed plane flights and burnt pumpkin pie crusts.

November 25th, 2008

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