Lavender Pond Farm is now hosting regular yoga classes in season on our farm. Developed in India thousands of years ago, yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise in the United States. We think yoga in a lavender field is pretty awesome and based upon our class enrollment numbers, our students agree. Check out some of the many benefits of yoga courtesy of the American Osteopathic Association.
“Yoga is a healing system of theory and practice. The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor.
While there are more than one hundred different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions are typically comprised of breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
Benefits of Yoga
“The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” explains Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.”
According to Dr. Nevins, other physical benefits include:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- The maintenance of a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved athletic performance
- Protection from injury
Yoga reduces stress and improves mental health
Aside from the array of physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which has been known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. “Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate,” says Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.”
Yoga is for everyone
Because there are so many different kinds of yoga practices, it is possible for anyone to start. “Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style,” says Dr. Nevins. “The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection.”
Yoga can be practiced to enhance overall health, to improve balance, to heal and prevent injuries, to strengthen muscles and to open the body for meditation. “It is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self,” says Dr. Nevins.
Yoga's increasing popularity is proof that many people value an exercise system that engages the mind, body and spirit in equal measure. If you've never done yoga before, give it a try and see what it can do for you.
Check out our schedule of upcoming yoga classes at Lavender Pond Farm.