We often come to yoga for the body; low back pain anyone? Or we want to maintain our range of motion, “I can’t tie my shoes!” However, there are other benefits to yoga such as emotional regulation and stress reduction. So while participants in the Rotterdam Study report that meditation and yoga helped them cope with stress, science attempts to answer why this is so. And here is what they discovered:
“Participants who reported practicing meditation and yoga also tended to have smaller right amygdala and left hippocampal volume compared to those not practicing — and right amygdala volume tended to decrease over time among practitioners.”
So what does this prove in regards to yoga?
Well, “research suggests the right amygdala controls fear and aversion to unpleasant stimuli.” In yoga, we first learn the power of calming the body through breathing (pranayama). And then we contort or hold an uncomfortable posture (asana). In both we observe sensation and we build the capacity to choose how to respond and whether to react, or not, to emotions and stress.
So if your motivation is the body, we’ve got you covered. Dealing with an emotional issue? That works too. Yoga isn’t talk therapy, but through the process, we’re able to participate in our lives better.
Men’s Yoga, Mondays 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Chair Yoga for Men, Wednesdays 7am to 8am