Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yoga Practice: Issue 2, Yoga as Therapy

The spring semester of my sophomore year of college I was in a course that helped me learn now to interact with small groups. One of the group presentations was extremely fun, and my group’s topic was wellness. We each decided to touch base on how we personally achieve wellness. I picked yoga, and my group members were surprised – they thought I was going to pick dancing, which happened to be my second choice.

During my research I discovered that yoga has more physical benefits than I was aware of. I am unable to find all my class research, so I found a website that listed the same benefits as I found originally. According to www.yogabasics.com, practicing yoga as therapy can help conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, colds and the flu; depression, insomnia, headaches, and many more conditions. Personally, yoga has helped relieve me of headaches and back pain, but also anxiety.

As a dancer, student, and a person who works too many hours, anxiety is something I struggle with. During the school year I will sometimes have more than one dance performance per week (not including practices), and finding the time and patience to handle all the stress that comes with it is tiresome. I have found that the more often (and closer to my performances) I practice yoga, the more relaxed and focused I am during my performances.

Therefore, yoga is my favorite therapy. Since anxiety is my biggest obstacle, I use yoga to counteract it. When struggling with anxiety, I typically stick to the sun salutation (surya namaskar in Sanskrit) series. According to www.yogasite.com/sunsalute.htm, the sun salutation consists of 12 different flowing poses. The 12 different poses listed on YogaSite.com are pictured below, but I took pictures of myself doing the poses, instead of the stick pictures on YogaSite.com. In my research I didn’t necessarily find the sun salutation recommended for anxiety, but I use the sun salutation as a way to counteract my anxiety.

Here is the sun salutation series.

Pose #1 (feet should be placed flat on the ground, toes spread apart; mine weren’t because the wood was too hot)

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Pose #2

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Pose #3

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Pose #4

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Pose #5

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Pose #6

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Pose #7 – Whoops! My tag was showing

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*After this pose, lunge forward and come to standing.

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