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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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3:21 pm

Say ‘Om’: Yoga Helps Low Back Pain, Study Finds

Millions of Americans get into mental, spiritual and physical shape through yoga, and a new study suggests regular yoga sessions can also help people with low back pain find relief, with benefits lasting several months. Researchers in Washington state and Oregon found that adults with back pain that is moderately impairing experienced less pain and better functioning after taking yoga classes. In the study, a total of 228 adults either attended 12 weekly yoga classes, did stretching exercises or read a book that provided information on exercises and other ways to reduce back pain. When the three interventions were compared, yoga classes and stretching exercises were equally effective and were better than the book at providing pain relief and improving overall functioning. In many cases, the improvements persisted over several months. “I think it adds another piece of evidence that exercise is valuable for people with chronic back problems,” said Dr. Richard Deyo, a study co-author and professor of family medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. “It suggests yoga is a good option, but not necessarily the only one.” Yoga’s benefits, the authors found, were largely physical, resulting from strengthening and stretching of the back and leg muscles. About twice as many people who took yoga or stretching classes reported using fewer pain medications compared to participants who used only the self-help book. “This suggests exercise can be a substitute for medication and reduce its use,” said Deyo. Pain medication, he said, can often have side effects and may not last long. A 2009 study in the journal Spine also found benefits associated with yoga in people with chronic low back pain. Participants who took six months of classes in Iyengar yoga, which uses objects such as belts and blocks to help align the body properly, experienced significantly less pain, fewer depressive symptoms and less functional disability compared to study participants who used other types of therapies. Those who took yoga classes also used less medication. As long as yoga classes are geared toward this type of stretching and strengthening and the exercises can be modified if people experience pain, Deyo recommends them. “Exercise is valuable, but the only way it’s going to work is if people are doing something they want to do and enjoy it,” he said. In an accompanying comment, Dr. Timothy Carey, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said exercise should become a regular component of treatment for low back pain. “We physicians should refer our patients for exercise, practitioners should work to standardize treatments, and payers should encourage these treatments through minimization of co-payments for therapies that have both effectiveness and modest cost,” he wrote. By Kim Carollo

1:11 pm

How to Reduce Weight Through Yoga

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Content goes here[/author_info] [/author] Yoga is often portrayed as being passive and a form of mild stretching, but in reality yoga is an energy-exerting full-body workout. The challenging poses and vigorous sequences in a vinyasa, ashtanga, power or iyengar yoga offer a comprehensive workout, which builds strength while also helping you to increase your endurance. Additionally, yoga can help you to build lean muscle mass evenly, which in turn can help to increase your metabolism and help you burn fat and calories. Step 1 Burn calories while practicing yoga. A 90-minute dynamic yoga class can burn more than 500 calories, depending on your height and weight, according to Harvard Health Publications. 3,500 calories equals 1 lb. of body weight, so you can lose 1lb. a week with a daily yoga practice. Step 2 Increase your muscle mass with a yoga practice, according to a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise and conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Human Performance Laboratory. Researchers found that a regular yoga practice can help to build muscle in practitioners, due to the need for strength to execute standing and core poses, arm balances and inversions. Step 3 Decrease your water weight with a vigorous yoga practice. Several forms of yoga, such as hot yoga or vinyasa flow, practice in a studio that is heated to approximately 85 degrees. The hot temperatures combined with the active movements for 60 to 90 minutes will make you sweat, and the result can be a releasing of water weight. Step 4 Reduce your cortisol levels with yoga. Your body's fight-or-flight response to stress is to release the hormone cortisol. In turn, cortisol can raise your blood sugar levels, which causes your body to release insulin. The insulin sends a signal to your body and causes food to be stored as fat. A regular yoga practice helps to relieve stress and thus reduce your cortisol levels and the chain of events that follow. Step 5 Learn how to face challenges, which in turn can help you pursue your weight loss goal. Through tackling the tricky poses on your yoga mat, you can learn how to face challenges while in your everyday life. Weight loss is intimidating for many people and yoga can help you to gain the confidence to tackle a diet and fitness plan. Article by Beth Rifkin

12:46 pm

Lisa Shares her thoughts on Om Yoga.

Im fairly new to the practice of Yoga but not so new to life and recognizing a business that has the gift of ensuring everyone has a place to feel 100% proud of who they are in their mind and their body. Everything abut OM Yoga is practiced with the highest regard to the highest good of all. The respect and care for the students and each other as staff is outstanding. A large humble classroom providing enough charm to look lovely but not so much that it takes from the master artist...the person practicing. There is not even a mirror.....I love it! Its the mirror inside our mind that truly reflect who we are.....and the staff at Om Yoga must be proud of the positive impact their environment is having on their students. Ann is pure Bliss! Inside and outside of her class. Her genuine loving nature shines through and through....and saying this is NOT a "DEEP STRETCH" ....but her class Deep Stretch is amazing. and there is nothing BASIC about her Basic Class either! She has this special magic about her and just being in her presence a few moments..ahhhh..relaxation sets in! Maria has truly created a haven in Baxter Village to be proud of. Selecting the finest instructors for the finest experience! And for the more experienced practitioner her Power classes are just that...Powerful! She has a special way of gently yet effectively guiding one to their own mastery! Thanks so much for what you give to pay it forward and give a little space for peace in a hectic world! See ya again and again and again Lisa Balseca

4:13 pm

Lessons from the Mat

Today I had a wonderful conversation with my new friend, boss, and fellow yoga instructor Maria about some things we are learning as we practice yoga and live life. One of the things I came away with is how important it is as a teacher, student, and person to be vulnerable. Often that word in our culture is looked down on and as a quality it really isn’t something many people are going after. However, there is something so powerful and beautiful about vulnerability. As a yoga teacher I can only teach my students what I know. To try and teach beyond my understanding and knowledge would not be wise. For this reason one of my main goals is to be as transparent and vulnerable about my own experience and practice as possible. One of the things I am learning a lot about right now is how to be patient and relinquish my ideas about how things should be. For the last three months I have been battling a hamstring injury and a shoulder injury. Both of these things have been very frustrating and will take time and rest to heal. I’m pretty sure these injuries probably would have healed by now if I had just put aside my ego and practiced the principle of non harm by resting, but instead I kept pushing through it. This is a big problem. You see, the thing is… I am a yoga teacher. Yoga is supposed to heal not hurt and I’m supposed to know everything and have this crazy amazing practice and never do anything incorrectly. Reality check… I am such a baby when it comes to what I know about teaching, practicing yoga and living life. My teacher once told me to “never despise your injures for they will teach you more than anything else in your practice.” I can honestly say this is the truth and I feel that as a result of these injuries I am becoming a better student and a more effective teacher. It may take a lifetime to perfect some yoga poses and you may have some setbacks along the way, but the benefits of practicing far outweigh any setback. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk once wrote, “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners.” Although he was referring to one’s prayer and meditation life, I think there is such a truth within this quote that translates into any area of life. You can’t learn anything new if you think you know it all. Continuing to think of yourself as a beginner or novice requires both humility and vulnerability. If you live your life in this manner you truly will be amazed at how the simplicity of this disposition can bring joy and a lightness to whatever it is that you do. This comes as a direct result of not being preoccupied or overly concerned with standards and/or expectations. So next time you roll out your mat, keep it simple and make it your intention to just be a beginner. Leave the ego, don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy the process of growing. What’s the worst that could happen? You might learn something new and actually have a really good time doing it! Dar Short

6:07 pm

Yoga and Emotional Stability

When we are anxious, depressed or angry and carrying distressful emotions for a long period of time it can begin to effect our health adversely. Yoga has been known to calm the body and mind, to raise awareness to yourself and diminish all the troubles that are taking place around you. Your practice can be described as balancing, strengthening, calming or energizing but most of all you must realize that any of these should be rewarding to you. To have a rewarding practice you must know what you wish to get out of it. If you are practicing simply for health then that is what you should receive, feeling energized, calm and strengthened is nothing less than healthy; healthy for the mind and body. If you are practicing to relieve stress, anxiety or pain then that will be the outcome of your practice; breathing, concentrating, almost going into a different state; yoga can be compared to hypnosis but is more similar than different because you are simply letting go during your practice to cleanse your mind. Your yoga practice can lead up to equanimity; maintaining mental calmness or composure especially during difficult times or while under tension. Yoga will help you maintain emotional stability if you allow it to. By Amalia Lages