Yoga Is for Every Body (Including Yours!)

Good teachers make yoga user-friendly

Yoga Is for Every Body (Including Yours)

With sleek studios popping up everywhere, you may think of yoga as a fast-paced, complex and acrobatic activity.

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That it’s reserved for a certain type of body. And that you’re not young enough, thin enough, fit enough or flexible enough to do yoga.

But don’t think you can’t have a yoga body because of your age, shape or size! Wellness yoga — doing simple movements, mindfully — can have a profound effect on your health. It can also help you create positive change in your life.

Benefits for body and mind

The research is clear: A regular yoga practice can help you feel better and live healthier. That is why more and more physicians advise patients to give yoga a try. (If you aren’t sure yoga is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. He or she can advise you, based on your own personal medical history.)

Don’t think you need to do complex or acrobatic poses to enjoy these benefits:

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A regular yoga practice can also help you manage your weight. Mindful breathing exercises can provide even more of a cardio workout than you’d think! And because yoga blends physical activity with mindfulness, yoga is good for your memory and mood.

Yoga that’s user-friendly

If you feel you’ve waited too long to start yoga, never fear. It’s just a matter of finding a yoga practice that works for you.

By the time many people seek our help, they haven’t felt well for some time, due to illness, injury or being sedentary. We believe yoga should reach you right where you are, and help you to embrace it. The tools we use are mindfulness, gentle physical movement, and body and breath awareness.

Yoga is accessible to everyone and usable in the real world — not just in a medical setting or studio. For example, you can perform chair yoga and standing yoga sequences in your cubicle or office at work.

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Movements and poses can engage specific muscle groups. They help strengthen, lengthen and stretch major muscle groups and joints. Fortunately, these sequences won’t stress the musculoskeletal system the way other exercises can do.

Remember, a good teacher will always adjust the level of poses given to help make them more accessible and meaningful for your body.

Soon, you will start to feel better.  And you’ll be on your way to develop a yoga mind and body.

Jenn Sauer, R-RYT 200, a Cleveland Clinic Wellness Program Coordinator and yoga teacher, contributed to this post.

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Judi Bar, E-RYT 500

Judi Bar, E-RYT 500, is Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic. Her inclusive style of yoga has brought the ease, benefits and simplicity of yoga to patients, families and caregivers. She also has established one of the first Yoga Alliance-accredited yoga teacher training schools at a major medical institution.
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