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Yoga is more than just meditation and twisting your self into a pretzel

As part of the Health & Wellness 2010 Series
(above pictures courtesy of Lyan’lex Bernales – Giveitashot)

I got into yoga about 12 years ago in New York. I’ll admit it, I did it because it was trendy…celebs were raving about it and it was starting to evolve from a crunchy tree-hugger kind of activity to something more mainstream. I have never been very flexible so even from the beginning (and even though I was younger) I was not as bendy as the rest of the class, but I loved the sense of calm it brought me and I became addicted to that 2-inches taller feeling I had when I left class. My yoga involvement has come and gone in phases, but today, I am more convinced than ever yoga has an integral part to play in a healthy lifestyle. Here’s why…

Yoga has been practiced for 5,000 years. Originally its purpose was a physical discipline to calm the body before engaging in mental discipline, sitting for hours of meditation to reach a higher state of consciousness. Today, it is commonly practiced as a form of exercise around the world. And the benefits are proven – increased flexibility of muscles and joints, increased strength, improved posture, a stronger core, beneficial massage of internal organs, improved circulation, stress release, heart health and even improved concentration and focus. Lisa Esposito, an American yoga instructor based in Thailand, describes yoga as “a total healthcare system.”

Lisa Esposito – Yoga Instructor Based in Thailand