NAMA What?

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By: Erica Taub Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Yoga is a practice that unites the mind, body and soul. Not only can you get a great workout from yoga but it goes deeper into creating more fulfillment, peace, and joy to your life. There are endless benefits to yoga that many are already experiencing.

Are you working out with weights and/or cardio but not incorporating yoga? There are countless benefits to strength training and conditioning, however, there are many more pieces to your health and wellness puzzle. Yoga is a huge piece and below are some of the reasons.

Flexibility

I often hear, “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible”.  Isn’t that the perfect reason to start? The great thing about yoga is you can go at your own pace with many modification options available.

Our muscles get tight from workouts and activities of daily living.  Spending a full yoga class on increasing our flexibility reduces stiffness, aches and pains while increasing ranges of motion.  Flexibility vastly decreases our chance for injury and will result in performing better in other workouts.

Balance

Yoga brings balance in two arenas; mind and body. In regards to the body, most people are unaware how imbalanced they are, compensating with their stronger muscles for the rest of their body. This wear and tear greatly increases the chances of injury and pain.

Incorporating balance in the entire body is a fixture in the classes I instruct, pinpointing what needs improvement. Only then can you efficiently strengthen and align your body.

Pranayama- breath extension or control

If you’re breathing, you’re doing yoga! It’s as simple as that. Concentrating and connecting with the breath is a core component in the yoga class. It doesn’t matter what type of yoga class; power or gentle, breath is the most important part.

Conscious breathing shifts our brain from chaos to experiencing focus and calm awareness. This awareness helps us to connect deeper with our body and spirit in the present moment. The difference of conscious breathing and our normal breathing throughout the day is the areas of our brain that are stimulated. From conscious breathing we stimulate the cerebral cortex. Activating this part of our brain has a relaxing and balancing effect on our emotions.

Breathing and meditation are interrelated. The goal is to access that state of being present and in full consciousness, from there we can truly live in the moment instead of the past or future.

Stretch, balance, breath

Yoga is all encompassing. I can speak from personal experience regarding the above benefits, having suffered from back and hip pain for decades. Slowly and consistently from practicing yoga I have healed myself. I am grateful to guide others through their practice. Come flow, stretch, strengthen and balance with me in Delray Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and in Boca Monday at 8:30 a.m. and Friday at 7 a.m. Bring this article in with you and get a FREE class! The light in me honors the light in you- NAMASTE.

Erica Taub is a yoga instructor for PurLife Fitness Centers located in Delray Beach and Boca Raton. Erica obtained her Bachelors in Psychology, became life coach certified, and received her 200 hours RYT through Karuna Yoga Studio. Her greatest joy is to connect with others and show them the light that she’s been grateful to discover. She is extremely passionate about self-development work and has immersed herself into learning, growing, and becoming her most authentic self.