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Oh, So This Is Why Yogis Are So Zen
Doing yoga regularly not only keeps you calm, but it may also help you recover faster following a stressful situation, according to a new study published inBMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. Researchers found that those who practiced yoga for 90 minutes or more a day were more resilient to stress than those who did yoga infrequently or not at all.
"The sooner you recover, the sooner levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol return to normal," explains exercise physiologist Michele Olson, PhD. Too much adrenaline makes us feel anxious, and high cortisol levels promote fat storage, both of which can trigger a host of health problems over time.
For the study, participants were "stressed" with mental arithmetic tests and different forms of breathing. As this was happening, their oxygen consumption was measured. Not only did the yogis' oxygen consumption return to normal faster after being stressed but they also used less oxygen throughout the study, suggesting more efficient metabolic systems.
Don't have 90 minutes a day to practice yoga? Avoid getting bent out of shape by doing these 2 simple restorative poses and this gentle routine whenever you can:
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Lie on your mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring the soles of the feet together and let the knees fall out to sides. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through the nose for at least 30 seconds.
From a kneeling position, put your big toes together and open your knees slightly more than hip-width. Sit back on your heels and lower your upper body between your thighs. If possible, bring your forehead to the floor (or rest it on stacked fists). Extend your arms in front, palms down. Stay here for at least 30 seconds, breathing deeply.
Gentle Yoga Routine
Got 10 minutes? Here's a whole practice from yoga instructor Jillian Pransky.
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