Friday, July 20, 2007

Every Day Makes A Life

As I was working the 23rd of 26 poses during 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga, I was thinking back to a couple of months ago. During my first class, I could hardly remain in the room, which is heated to 104 degrees. Now I was finishing the postures with ease. In a short time, I had made so many changes. Chronic shoulder pain - gone. Mild lower back pain - no more. My energy, mental clarity, flexibility were all so greatly improved, my posture better and so much more. I often recommend yoga, tai chi, or qi gong to patients. If you go to the gym every day, you are putting out a long of yang energy, or what could best be described as "go-go-go" energy. Yoga is nourishing and tends to increase yin energy. This helps you to restore energy instead of feeling burned out. I find that this is what people need most.

The postures of hatha yoga have a wisdom that is thousands of years old. The more you study how the postures work on the body, the more fascinating it becomes. These are not just random stretching exercises. Each exercise not only works the body, the muscles, the joints, but also massages the internal organs, improves the health of the spine allowing energy to flow easily through the spine. Yoga postures balance the meridians of the body, and even helps your endocrine system to function better. Many of the compression postures help the thyroid, pituitary, pancreas and other endocrine organs function better. This means that if you have diabetes, low thyroid function, difficulty sleeping or other endocrine issues that they may be helped without any medication, without any supplement, but by doing a specific exercise you can create health within your own body.

When I travel, I realize more than usual how terribly overweight not just the adult population is, but teenagers and children seem to be carrying a frightening amount of excess weight as well. I want to emphasize again how incredibly important it is to exercise EVERY day. If your work life is so busy that you have no time to exercise, then what kind of a life are you living? Movement is crucial, not just to prevent illness, but to feeling truly alive. Each day, you are either improving your flexibility, or you are losing it. You are improving the functioning of your heart, or the heart muscle is becoming weaker. You are forming beta endorphins and other brain chemicals that will help you to feel happy, alive, creative, or your are moving toward depression or mood swings, just from lack of movement! When your hips are tight, your shoulders locked up, when it is hard to get up, take a walk, do exercise, you are losing the very essence of life. You are losing that which makes you most truly you, your brightest, your healthiest.

When your body is conditioned, fit, the muscles are toned, the body is flexible, you feel good. It affects every interaction, your creativity, what you are able to achieve in your life. I highly encourage you to strive for daily exercise, doing activities that you feel drawn to. I do recommend some yoga, tai chi or qi gong. If you do not currently feel that you have time in your life for exercise, let me know. I will work with you to create the space in your life. Everything is possible. Make room for this just like you were fighting for your life. Because, as it turns out, you are.

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