Health benefits of yoga
You may already know this, but...I love yoga! I love it so much, in fact, that I even started a blog about it this year. :-)

I have tried a number of different types of yoga, and Kundalini is the one that I find the most fulfilling - at least for the past few years. But regardless of which type of yoga you prefer, the fact is that yoga is just plain good for you!

Doctors, mental health professionals, and regular old yoga practitioners like you and me all agree - yoga has loads of awesome health benefits for people of all ages and physical conditions. Of course, any form of exercise has its benefits, but yoga has some very special ones that many other forms of exercise just don't provide - at least not to the same degree.

Below is a quick roundup of 10 amazing health benefits that you can experience for yourself simply by practicing yoga on a regular basis.


 
 
Sitting at desk
No, I'm not talking about how much you hate your boss, or how much your job stresses you out. I'm also not talking about those who have obviously dangerous jobs and are exposed to large amounts of chemicals during a regular workday. What I'm talking about is something much more insidious, as it is only just beginning to be recognized as dangerous to your health.

I'm talking about sitting at a desk all day.

If you're anything like me, you are in front of a computer for 8+ hours on a regular work day. While a few offices have recently enacted standing or walking desks for their employees, they are by far the minority. And most people, after sitting at a desk all day, then come home and sit in front of the TV for several hours.

You may think the only harm this is doing to you is an aching back and a stiff neck, but researchers are finding this isn't the case. In fact, sitting for long periods of time - as so many of us do in today's modern world - is linked to all kinds of diseases and health problems. There's even a popular new term being used to describe this phenomenon; it's called "sitting disease."

If you're one of those people who has a desk job, you are at high risk for sitting disease. Read on to find out why this is so bad for your health, and what you can do about it....


 
 
If you've read my exercise blog before, you may know that I have struggled with chronic back pain for going on 10 years now.  As anyone who has experienced it knows, back pain is no joke, and no laughing matter either. In my case, I'm not aware of any immediate cause - my lower back just got stiffer and stiffer, until I could barely put on my shoes in the morning. Finally I started seeing a chiropractor, and things went downhill from there, as years of pent up tension and dysfunction were gradually released, creating havoc among the muscles that had been compensating for the spinal alignment problems for many years. After a year or two of regular chiropractic visits, the bouts of pain became less frequent, and less extreme. But I still have to be careful about what I do, and it sometimes seems the smallest thing will trigger a relapse. You may know what I'm talking about if you've experienced it yourself....

I've felt for some time that there has to be a solution somewhere. My body was made to move, and move without pain. No matter how it got to the state it had come to, shouldn't there be a way to reverse it, and get back to a normal, healthy, flexible and pain-free back? But what is the answer? It's certainly not drugs (a temporary aid at best), or surgery (one older lady I know just had her 5th back surgery; she is in constant pain and on several drugs for it, and has been for many years, having more and more of her spine removed and/or fused with each surgery; she has never been to a chiropractor or tried any sort of natural treatment, and probably never will. I expect soon she will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life).

I know that part of the answer comes with activity. I never had any such symptoms until several years at a desk job, sitting almost constantly for 8 hours at a time. Talk about unnatural! But such is the way of the world these days. Unnatural as it may be for our bodies, it is indeed normal in today's society to sit at a desk for 8+ hours per day. All we can do is find a way to move as much as possible even while working (such as is discussed in Dr. Levine's book, Move A Little, Lose A Lot). And we can also find ways to strengthen our muscles and joints so that they stay strong and flexible, and able to support our weight and handle other tasks we may throw at them unexpectedly.