Living Magazine doTERRA Winter 2018 - Page 8

Benefits of Yoga When it comes to exercise, cardio and resistance training get most of the attention. But a modality that was developed over 5,000 years ago offers many of the same benefits, and then some. If the goal of your exercise program is lifelong health and vitality—of the body and mind—then you should definitely consider making yoga a part of your plan. The Body Essential Oils and Yoga The Mind The benefits of yoga are not limited to the body; in fact, it’s ability to positively influence the mind is probably its most studied characteristic. Research has shown that regular yoga practice can increase blood flow to the brain, improve executive functioning and working memory capabilities, and protect against age- related cognitive decline. One recently published study found that regular yoga practice actually influences brain structure, as regular yoga practitioners were found to have greater brain cortical thickness than age- matched healthy non-practitioners. Previous research has associated cortical thickness with decreases in cognitive and executive functioning losses that come with aging. It is believed that the mechanism behind these effects is quite simple: extreme focus is an integral part of yoga practice, and the brain is much like a muscle in the sense that the more you challenge it, the more powerful and resilient it becomes. If it is mood-enhancing benefits you are looking for, lifting your hands to the sky in utkatasana (“fierce pose”) does the same thing for your spirit. Researchers have found that as little as eight weeks of regular yoga practice can have dramatic positive influence on levels of anxiety and self-perception. Body or mind, yoga promotes health and wellness like few other activities can. The unity of yoga and volatile aromatic compounds is as natural as CPTG® essential oils. One of exercise science’s most proven activities for lifelong wellness (yoga) combined with one of nature’s most health-promoting substances (essential oils) is a perfect match for a yoga studio (or your living room). And now you don’t have to guess or spend time experimenting with DIY blends to find the best essential oils to complement your yoga experience: through a combination of art and science, the dōTERRA® Yoga Collection has done it for you. If you are in need of centering, the synergy of the essential oils contained in dōTERRA Align can help create a new sense of peace and purpose. dōTERRA Anchor, the steadying blend, combines several of the most stabilizing CPTG ® oils, such as Patchouli and Cedarwood, to help you feel rooted and grounded. In dōTERRA Arise, dōTERRA has combined a number of the most uplifting terpene compounds, including limonene from Grapefruit and Lemon and bornyl acetate from Siberian Fir, to create a symbiotic blend that is both elevating and calming. For any novice or experienced yogi who is in need of centering or inspiration, the Yoga Collection provides distinct blends to help you get the most out of your yoga practice. Add a few drops of your favorite dōTERRA Yoga Collection blend to a diffuser or your chakra points and take your physical, mental, and spiritual health to the next level. Let’s start jotting down the reasons to integrate asanas and pranayamas into your regular exercise routine. I hope you have a lot of ink in that pen. One of the primary reasons people stop, or never really start, an exercise program is because physical exertion can hurt, acutely and long-term. This is due both to unavoidable physiological processes (i.e., delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)) and because the modern lifestyle promotes sedentary behaviors that make us stiff and immobile. Yoga is one of the best ways to address these issues. One study found that yoga was an effective means to expedite exercise recovery, decrease the intensity of DOMS, and improve post-exercise flexibility. Adults who spend most of their days sitting experience a number of negative side effects. Not only are many adults lacking the required flexibility and mobility to safely perform various physical activities (especially hip-hinged movements, such as squats and deadlifts), but also chronic lower back and neck pain are becoming progressively more common. Yoga can help open up those hips so you can squat like a toddler without discomfort or muscular inhibition, and systematic reviews have confirmed that yoga is one of the single most potent methods of reducing pain and functional disability of the spine. And don’t forget that cardio. While the methodology is totally different than logging miles on the treadmill, there is evidence that the positive physiological adaptations of regular yoga may be similar to that of running. A systematic review found that yoga was just as effective as more traditional means of cardiovascular exercise in lowering risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, and in improving various standard metrics of cardiorespiratory health. A holistic exercise plan simply is not complete without some variation of yoga. 8 / WINTER 2018 LIVING MAGAZINE / 9