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The stress associated with the holidays can be intense and leave quite an aftershock for most of us. Juggling family, finances and a packed calendar causes extra stress which can manifest into physical symptoms, such as head and neck aches, lower back pain, fatigue, high blood pressure and sleeplessness.

Yoga:

To combat that stress, consider taking a break from the hustle and bustle by giving yoga a try. The controlled breathing, gentle stretching postures and the mindfulness (meditation) exercises can be very restorative. Hatha yoga in particular may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles, and beginners find it easier to practice due to its slower pace and easier movements. However, people can benefit from any style of yoga — it`s all about your personal preference. Yoga is generally low impact and safe when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor. Yoga should not be used to replace conventional medical care, and those with medical conditions should talk to their healthcare provider prior to starting. Affordable classes are available virtually everywhere, and you should consider enlisting a friend for support and motivation. Not up for yoga? An alternative is meditation.

Meditation:

Meditation can help patients undergoing cancer treatment stay healthy and energized. Multiple research studies have reported that patients demonstrate improved sleep and decreased fatigue when yoga is incorporated into their cancer treatment. M.D Anderson has research in progress which utilizes imaging technology to pinpoint the changes taking place in the brains of women who practice yoga while undergoing breast cancer treatment. Researchers hope to confirm tangible results that will confirm the benefits of mind body interventions such as yoga.

Make this year the year of mindfulness, positive thinking and improved health through successful stress management!

If you live in the Austin area use this link to find your perfect yoga spot.

Sources:
Bertisch, S.M., et al, ”Effects of Yoga on Depression and Anxiety in Women”, Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice,2009,15;102.
Distasio, S.A., “Integrating Yoga into Cancer Care”, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing,2008;12:125 Laino,Charlene,”One Particular Type of Customized Yoga Found to Improve Sleep, Lessen Fatigue among Cancer Survivors”, Oncology Times,July,2010.
www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/news-releases.
www.yogaalliance.org

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